The weather gods are smiling on us – summer is here! 🙂 The heater is finally off and we are turning on the air-conditioning. And to top it all off, the Bureau of Meteorology has declared El-Nino is here. This means Australia is going to have a warmer and drier summer over the next four to five months.
So, what does this mean for those spiders, cockroaches, ants, and other nasty pests that are already living in (or about to invade) your family home? The heat is great news for those pesky critters but is bad news if you are imagining a pest free home this summer.
Yes love, I hear you! 🙂 As a busy work from home mum, you are already a multitasking superhero who is probably running a business whilst managing young children. It’s tough. And the last thing you need is dealing with unwanted pests in the house.
Rodent control can be a pain on the backside. So, let us help you deal with one less worry in your day.
10 Tips for a Pest Free Home
Here are 10 practical, easy to follow, actionable tips for a pest free home this summer:
Tip #1: Deny pests entry from the family home
Pests like ants, spiders, rats and mice are small and nimble creatures. If there is a tiny gap, a crack, a crevice, they will find it and enter your home.
These gaps and cracks could be in windows, doors, or any other nooks and crannies around the family home.
Take a walk around and thoroughly inspect your house for gaps and cracks. When you find one: seal it, caulk it and block it with weather retardant material. Even the smallest gaps or crevice can be a giant doorway for pests to get into your home.
You can easily fix them with a simple do-it-yourself fix over a weekend. It can be a fun learning activity with the kids. Get them involved and get those hands dirty!
Tip #2: Keep the kitchen clean
It is very hard to achieve a pest free home without a clean kitchen. Period. A clean kitchen is your first line of defence against pests.
Wipe the counters, sweep the floors daily, store food in airtight containers, and clean under the appliances where crumbs can accumulate.
Ensure the kids are involved in the daily clean up routines around the kitchen. Gamify it. Little Mister or Missy who finds and clean crumbs, the spills, extracts that half-eaten cookie that’s been under the fridge since last year, gets a reward. The winner gets an extra dollop of ice cream for dessert. You get the idea…
Pests simply love an unclean kitchen, so keep the kitchen clean!
Tip #3: Manage moisture around the home
Pests love damp areas. They thrive in this type of environment.
So, how can you manage moisture around the home?
- Get a plumber to check for high moisture in areas like your kitchen and bathroom.
- Fix leaky taps and faucets.
- Ensure your home has proper drainage, gutters are clear and excess water is diverted storm water drains.
- Ensure all your indoor areas are clean and dry.
- Appliances like dehumidifier can also be used in damp areas like the basement to help keep moisture under control.
Tip #4: Clear out rubbish from the house regularly
Dispose of rubbish regularly and make sure the bins are sealed tight. Disposal of rubbish is an easy step to significantly reduce the attraction for pests like rats and flies.
You can even get the kids involved in this step! 🙂 Teach them to take out the trash regularly as part of their household chores and responsibility. This is a great way to show them the importance of hygiene around the house.
Tip #5: Maintain your backyard
Pests love overgrown bushes and long grass. They are a safe haven for them to hide and thrive.
Unkept lawns, and tree branches can act as a conduit for pests like ants and spiders to find their way into your home. Keep the lawns mowed, trim the bushes and clear garden waste and debris.
If you are time-pressed, an easy fix is to hire a professional gardener.
Tip #6: Schedule Pest Inspection & Pest Control
DIY pest control sometimes is not enough. We have all tried it. Off the shelf simply doesn’t cut it after a certain point. You need a professional pest control service for a thorough pest inspection and effective pest treatment.
Pest exterminators can detect pest infestations early and nip it in the bud. We had an instance where a pest inspector detected early signs of termite activity. This helped to treat the problem early on before it became a very expensive issue.
Having an expert pest control technician inspect your home gives you peace of mind that you are in safe hands.
Schedule at least two pest inspections and treatments a year, and ensure you have a pest treatment done early in summer.
Tip #7: Leverage natural repellents
Natural repellents are an excellent way to keep pests at bay. They are a gentler and a non-toxic approach to pest control.
We have found oil sprays works best. Depending on the type of pest you are seeking to deter, spray the tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil to deter cockroaches; peppermint oil can keep spiders away; lavender or lemongrass oil can make fleas run away; and spearmint & lemon can get ants marching back out of the house.
You can also sprinkle soggy coffee grounds outside your house where you believe the pests are coming in. White vinegar works wonders as a cleanser especially to get rid of ant trails.
Tip #8: Educate the family about pest control
Prevention is better than cure. Getting everybody in the family on board is vital for pest prevention.
Teach your kids the importance of practising cleanliness for a pest free home. Educate them of the importance of good home hygiene and safe food storage practices.
Simple actions like not keeping the food out overnight, cleaning up after spills, keeping the doors and windows closed and prompt disposal of garbage are vital for keeping pests at bay.
Tip #9: Store firewood properly
If you are using firewood, it is advisable to keep it at least 20 feet away from your home at an elevated place off the ground. This prevents termites and ants from entering your home.
Inspect the woodpile regularly for pest activity and rotate the wood to keep it dry and less attractive to pests.
Tip #10: Keep an eye out for pests around the home
Always keep an eye out for pests. Look for signs of pest activity like droppings, unusual smell, or sounds like scratching on the roof or walls (which indicates the presence of rodents), look for damaged plants or holes in the yard.
Also, teach your children about these pest activity signs to provide them awareness of what to look out for. Detecting pest activity early can help make pest control effective and less invasive.
Are you ready for a pest free home this summer?
Well, I hope you enjoyed these simple tips to help managed pests effectively this summer 🙂
The great news is, it shouldn’t take too much time out of your day when implementing these steps regularly. And with the help of these tips, we hope you can easily keep your home pest-free, ensuring a safe and healthy environment for you and your family.
Got any other tips to help keep pests at bay? Comment below, I’d love to hear it!
Sindhu Sriram is the co-founder of S4 Digital – a web design and SEO agency in Parkdale Melbourne. She is an Aussie work at home mompreneur who is passionate about helping local businesses grow online by maximising their digital footprint through high performing websites and SEO strategies.