Insects come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, most of them highly unpleasant. In warmer areas, such as the southern and west coast states, insects are present year round, and some of them can be dangerous. In order to keep your home bug free and to avoid the cost of doing battle with these pests, there are several things you must watch for on a daily basis.
Dirty dishes with stuck-on food are an open invitation for cockroaches and ants to come feast. Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight and keep your countertops clean.
Cockroaches often climb up drainpipes in search of food, so keep your sink traps locked overnight and bleach your sink after washing the dishes.
Old cardboard boxes, piles of old magazines, and abandoned toys in the attic or front porch can provide a haven for spiders.
While most varieties are harmless, black widows and the wandering brown recluse can deliver a painful and potentially fatal bite. Clean up the clutter, especially in dark, quiet areas where these pests like to hide.
Don’t allow your kids to eat in their bedrooms or leave behind plates and cups that could attract flies and ants.
Once these pests get in, it can be very difficult to get rid of them. Remind your kids to only eat at the table and have them check their rooms daily for dishes and glasses if they do happen to forget.
Cats and dogs can bring in a number of uninvited guests from outdoors, such as fleas and ticks.
These dangerous parasites also feed on humans and carry diseases. Don’t allow your pets to wander, use commercial flea and tick preventive, and bathe them on a monthly basis.
If you take your pet to the local dog park, always inspect them afterward to make sure they didn’t pick up any of these nasty creatures.
Make sure that your doors fit snugly into their frames so that there are no gaps that allow bugs to enter. Cracks in the floors can also allow insects into the house, so they should be fixed as soon as possible.
Cracks in wood frames can also invite termites, which can cause thousands of dollars in damage.
If you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove, take steps to maintain your wood pile. Keep it covered or in a shed to discourage spiders, bees, or wasps from nesting inside.
Keep it free of spider webs and don’t allow debris to accumulate on the pile.
Moisture attracts bugs such as centipedes, beetles, and other burrowing insects that are both unpleasant to look at and could be potentially dangerous.
Keep bathroom floors and rugs clean and dry and watch out for leaks that might create these conditions. The cleaner and drier your home is, the less attractive it will look to these pests.