Keeping the Bugs at Bay Around the Home:
The best strategies for keeping bugs at bay around your home involve prevention rather than using toxic treatments. There are many sprays and products on the market that kill bugs around the home, but these also leave you, your family, and pets at risk of contacting those chemicals. Here are simple measures you can take to avoid pest problems.
Invest in Proper Storage
Pantry pests take advantage of poor food storage. Glass, metal, or durable plastic containers with tight-fitting lids keep out those insects. A cedar chest can protect valuable wool garments and blankets, and also silks, furs, and other vulnerable fabrics.
Invest in a Good Vacuum
A good vacuum is an essential pest control device. Insects can subsist on a surprisingly small amount of food. Carpet beetles and other insects thrive on the dust made up of the shed hair and skin flakes of pets and people. Clean house thoroughly and regularly.
Get a Termite Inspection
Termite inspections give you peace of mind for a small price. Structural pests like termites are among the few insects that require professional intervention. Meanwhile, keep mulch, firewood, and other woody material well away from your homes exterior. Watch for termite tubes creeping up your foundation.
Repairing worn weather stripping around doors, mending holes in window screens (or replacing torn ones), and caulking cracks and crevices prevent bugs from entering. Pack steel wool around pipes and electrical conduits where they enter the house.
Watch for Bed Bugs When Traveling and Shopping
Always inspect your on-the-road lodging thoroughly to keep from bringing bed bugs home. Put your luggage in the bathtub, even. Beware of thrift store furniture, too.
Avoid Toxic Chemical Products
Resist the urge to buy over-the-counter sprays and such. At least heed the application instructions. Improper application of pesticides is a violation of federal law, as well as extremely dangerous to you and your family. Mothballs are ineffective and smelly. Moth crystals are at least potentially carcinogenic. Roach baits are effective, but some should not be deployed in households where a pregnant woman resides. Read the labels!
Gently Evict Unwanted “Guests”
Most insects and spiders in your home are incidental intruders, not residents or pests. Use a commercial device like My Critter Catcher to gently relocate those wayward bugs.
Use Bug Repellents in Backyard
When outdoors instead of spraying harsh chemicals use a bug repellent like Natrapel or Ben’s Tick and Insect Repellent to keep the bugs off you. Ben’s Clothing and Gear can also be sprayed around your patio furniture to kill bugs on contact. This will help keep you from mosquito and tick bites when enjoying your patio or backyard.