Categories: Home Improvement

Winter Season Pest Control Tips

As the frost tinged air of winter begins to sink into our skin, we start to rejoice in the simple pleasures of warm blankets, hot cocoa and heated air. Vagrant insects and rodents would also be happy to indulge in that warmth. It’d be nice if such critters would only visit for a brief reprieve from the snow. Unfortunately, they’re bound to be troublesome squatters for life, affording them the apt title of “pests.” Consider using these tips to keep your home pest free during winter and beyond.

1. Absolve Clutter

If you’ve ever seen an episode of Hoarders, you’re likely familiar with the association between an excess of clutter and the onslaught of pests. While hoarding objects and trash to the extreme is not typical, it’s certainly possible to have a cluttered space that is doing you a disservice. An abundance of junk and clothing strewn about can make for a great hiding place for anything from roaches to mice.

Avoid taking home free furniture on the roadside, as it may be infested with bed bugs. If you have a lot of stuff, it’s a good idea to keep it as organized as possible for easier cleaning and management. A messy space can also make it impossible to treat a current infestation. If you have a pest problem, pairing down and making your living space clutter free should be the first step.

2. Store Food Properly

Hungry vermin are desperate to find any morsel during winter months, and your kitchen could be an ideal target. Roaches, ants, mice and rats are drawn to food sources, so make sure you don’t give them any morsels to look forward to.

You want to make sure your kitchen and living spaces are free from edible debris. If you spill food or a sugary drink, it’s vital that you clean it up completely. Never leave out left overs and make sure bags of flour, sugar and pet food are sealed in canisters or zip bags.

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Try not to leave dirty dishes in the sink or dishwasher, and always take out your trash. It’s also a good idea to clean underneath and behind your refrigerator, stove and other appliances once a month. If you maintain a clean space, pest control will be far simpler to maintain.

3. Defend with Diatomaceous Earth

A lot of people resort to chemical sprays and bug bombs to combat an infestation, but these tactics can often prove ineffective and even dangerous. Professional services are ideal but they can be expensive, and sometimes the only option is to treat your home yourself.

One of the best methods of affordable pest control is diatomaceous earth. Food grade diatomaceous earth is a soft silica powder made from fossilized marine organisms. It works as a mechanical pesticide that breaks down the joints in an exoskeleton while also drying it out. Any insect or arachnid that comes into contact with the powder will subsequently die, including nymphs and eggs.

If you use diatomaceous earth, make sure that you only purchase the 100% food grade variety, which is safe to use among humans and animals. There is another version that’s used in the treatment of chlorine pool filters, but it’s highly dangerous and abrasive to lungs.

Food grade diatomaceous earth can be dusted in a fine layer inside cupboards, around baseboards, bedding, basements and any cracks and crevices in your home. The substance is also useful for treating fleas in carpet and pets. The nefarious bed bug, which can infest even the most sanitized environments, can also be combated with the use of diatomaceous earth. The effects of the powder may be slow but over time it will yield results.

Christopher is an author and community blogger from Tulsa, Oklahoma who works with American Services Pest Control, Lawn and Landscaping.

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