With so many potential pests in the home, it can be overwhelming to learn more about dealing with them all. Trying to understand the ways of all pests is a job for professional exterminators, so just stick to some of the more common ones. In this case, here are the three top house pests, and what you can do about them.
You might hear them scurrying in the walls, or find signs of their passing under the kitchen cabinets one night. Signs might be small chewed holes or fresh droppings. Either way, you have mice and will need to take care of them before they do too much damage. Snap traps are a common approach that is very effective if you can get the placed in busy spots and loaded with the right bait. Peanut butter is a good choice.
Poison baits are another option, and can work better if you can’t really access busy mouse routes for traps. The baits are brought back to the main nest and can kill more mice than you’d get with a single snap trap.
For a less lethal option, humane cage traps can also work but will take more patience and you’ll have to take the time to relocate each mouse as you catch them. There may be quite a few if their colony has been around a while.
Let’s move on to insect pests, with ants being the most common problem of all. They’re small, and seem to come in huge numbers once they’ve arrived. Ants invade the house looking for food, so you want to clean up every possible spill or crumb that they might discover. Spray the areas with either a pesticide spray or even a strongly scented DIY mix of essential oils that will disrupt their scent trails and eliminate the smells of food.
Next, add a few sticky surface traps where you’re seeing the most ants to help catch them when you’re not around, and do your best to kill the ones you do see (keep a fly swatter handy).
Cockroaches are notoriously tough to kill but many of the same techniques you use for ants will work for the larger roaches too. Get rid of all food, and anything packaged in cardboard or paper containers should be sealed up tighter in jars or plastic. Pesticide sprays are an option but you’ll need a lot to kill a large popular of cockroaches. Get serious with stickier traps and poison bait stations instead. Once you’ve removed other food sources, the roaches are more likely to go after your bait.
They will invariably stick to dark areas, so leaving lights on and cabinet doors open can actually make a big difference in keeping them at bay.
Prevention goes a long way with roaches, so keep food under wraps to begin with and examine the house for cracks and openings that would let them get into the house in the first place. Liberal use of sealant and caulking can make a big difference, especially under sink cabinets and along baseboards.