As a homeowner, one of the worst things that can come your way is a serious pest problem. Critters and insects can infiltrate your home and yard in many ways, even if you think you’ve sealed them up tightly. It’s unhealthy, unsafe, and uncomfortable to let them stick around, and you need some serious solutions to solve these problems.
Before we dive into some of the more creative solutions, it’s important to discuss treating pests according to the type. You’ll handle rats and mice much differently than you’ll handle roaches and bed bugs, for example. Make sure you recognize the problem for what it is and use solutions directed towards the pest in question.
With that being said, let’s look at some of the top solutions for handling a pest problem.
- Install Motion Sensor Sprinklers
These sprinklers are designed to dissuade raccoons, cats, and other rodents from leaving little “gifts” on your lawn or rifling through your trash. When it senses movement, a motion sensor sprinkler gently squirts the pest with water. It doesn’t hurt them but it scares them enough that they’ll run away – hopefully for good.
Apparently, it works really well. One homeowner with a problem of cats using his lawn and flower boxes as a bathroom dedicated an entire website to finding the best motion sensor sprinkler, and solved his pest problem.
- Declutter to Reveal and Discourage Unwanted Guests
Rodents and insects love areas where they can hide. That means if you have woodpiles or junk lying around your house, they’re more likely to stick around your property and eventually find their way indoors. The same goes for cupboards and closets filled with crumbs and unorganized chaos.
Cleaning up these areas will not only reveal the hiding spots of unwanted visitors but will also discourage a return visit. It won’t completely solve the problem, but it will help keep it under control.
- Try DIY Organic Solutions
There are hundreds of organic pest control remedies, some of which work and others that barely make a dent in the issue. You have to be very careful about which organic solutions you buy into. Some are just out for your money. Others work for small pest problems but will do nothing if the problem grows.
All in all, vet your solutions carefully and monitor the results vigilantly to know what’s working. This list from Planet Natural is a great place to start in your search for effective organic pest solutions.
- Set Up Prevention Measures
Prevention is the first step in ridding your home and yard of pests. There are many things you can do to keep pests from coming back, including:
- Keep areas around and inside the home clean and clutter-free.
- Caulk and seal holes, cracks, and crevices around windows, doors, and the foundation.
- Seal storage and food items tightly to keep smells from attracting animals.
- Check for leaks in plumbing.
- Place mesh screens in front of air vents, doors, and other openings to the home.
- Cut Off Water Access
A surprising way to eliminate insect infestations is to cut off water supplies. Insects like roaches will often hang out around your sink and laundry room to hydrate themselves. Many insects can live up to a month without food but only a few days without water.
Always drain the sinks and bathtubs of water, seal sponges and wet rags in airtight containers, and check for leaks and other damp spots around the house. Eliminate standing water anywhere in, around, or under your house. When insects don’t have ready access to water, they’re more likely to abandon your home.
- Get a Pest-Eater
Mice problem? A cat can help. Roaches in the kitchen? A lizard can take care of that. Pest-eating animals won’t fix a major infestation but they can control a casual problem. This is highly recommended for homes located near farmland, dairies, or wetlands where mice and insects are rampant. Keeping a pet on hand to roam the area will decrease pests in and near the home.
- Plant Pest Repellants
Certain plants give off smells that can dissuade many types of insects and even animals like feral cats and raccoons. Some of the more popular and effective pest repellents include:
- Bay leaves
- Lemon Grass
For a full list of plant repellents, visit this page.
It’s usually the scent of these plants that keep pests at bay. If you don’t want smelly plants around your house, you can use drops of essential oil near windows, doors, and other entry points. The scent will need to be refreshed often, but it can work wonders for discouraging unfriendly visitors.
These creative solutions are great, and often work, but you need to know when to call in a professional. Sometimes, pest problems are too much to handle with over the counter products, which is especially true for bug infestations.
If you find that your efforts haven’t made a dent in the problem and it continues to get worse, you should call an exterminator right away.