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We want to be in complete control of what comes into our homes; unfortunately, we may have uninvited guests, such as ants, mice, and roaches, invading our space. This can be awkward when we have company over, but there are steps you can take to prevent an infestation.
Have House Rules
While we all want a relaxed atmosphere, it doesn’t hurt to set a few rules for the household, especially if you have guests over. You don’t need an endless list, but a policy against dishes building up can keep your home tidy and protect it from critters. Likewise, having everyone take their shoes off at the door can prevent dirt and other debris from being scattered through the property. Of course, house rules are easier for the family to follow, but guests may overlook them. If that does happen, try to be understanding, and do things yourself to keep rooms neat.
Rid Away Clutter
Critters, big and small, thrive in cluttered environments, as these can provide hiding spots and opportunities for food and water. Getting a home organized may be intimidating, but even simple systems can be effective. For instance, if there are piles of paper everywhere, you could streamline things by using a filing cabinet. In fact, by having bins and baskets dotted through rooms, you can maintain a tidy system to keep clutter off floors. If you have pieces of old furniture, you could open up space and deny pests shelter by donating or selling them. That mindset can apply to just about everything, as even outdated tech, such as kitchen appliances, could provide cover for unwanted creatures.
Deal with Holes
When we think of entry points for rodents, it’s natural for our thoughts to be drawn to old cartoons. Yet, even a quarter-sized hole can be enough for rodents to squeeze in. So, go through your home and look for places that could offer easy access, and be on the lookout for signs of pest activity. This might include evidence of scurrying, chewing, and droppings, particularly around gaps. If you do find a hole, cover it with steel mesh so that a rodent can’t chew through it, and consider a polyurethane sealant as an added measure. By eliminating entry points, you are one step closer to preventing infestations.
One of the main attractions for critters is moisture in the home, as water allows rodents, roaches, and other pests to flourish and grow. You will need to identify the source of dampness, and this might require a professional inspection. Moisture can be caused by clogged gutters, poor ventilation, damaged roofs, or piping issues. Many of these problems are solvable using DIY methods, and a dehumidifier can be effective in eliminating excess moisture.
Invest in Deterrents
If all else fails, it may be time to invest in deterrents. Unfortunately, although ultrasonic devices promise to make your home unappealing to creepy crawlies, your best bet is to use traps. You could still experiment with ultrasonic devices, but they may be ineffective, and thankfully, many traditional traps are now humane. For creepy crawlies, there are also natural remedies which may discourage them, such as cinnamon or peppermint spray for ants. In fact, peppermint can deter other creatures, like spiders, while cucumber may repel roaches. With the right approach, you don’t have to resort to poisons or other fatal solutions.
Your house should be a sanctuary, not a place for creepy crawlies. Take appropriate measures, like keeping the home clutter-free, dealing with entry points, and eliminating moisture. Not only can you drive away unwanted critters, but you can prevent them in the first place.
About the author: Suzie Wilson is a guest writer for REALTY NAVIGATOR and has been an interior designer for over 20 years. She has "a passion for helping people organize and style their homes so they’re not only beautiful, but offer a relaxing, stress-free environment to every member of the family." Visit her website Happier Home
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