Although you may believe that you are taking all the right steps to deter pests from infesting your home, you might be surprised at some of the ways in which your home is actually attracting them. Keep reading to learn about a few conditions that are conducive to pest infestations and which items that you use every day might be enticing pests to make themselves at home inside of your house.
Seven Outdoor Home Conditions That Are Conducive To Pest Infestations
Tree or shrub branches touching the roof of your home may not seem problematic at first, but when you learn a little bit more about the ways in which pests can enter your home, it begins to make more sense how this condition can be conducive to pest infestations. Specifically, rodents and ants will use these branches as a way to gain entry into your home through your roof. They will also use these branches to avoid any pesticides or insecticides that have been applied to the ground. Additionally, when shrubs rest against your roof or home, they can sometimes retain moisture which might cause rot. This rot is attractive to a multitude of pests and can either exacerbate any pest infestation problems you are experiencing or invite a new infestation to begin. To ensure that your tree and shrub branches do not contribute to a pest infestation in your home, cut back any vegetation by three feet. This will ensure that rodents or other insects are unable to use the branches of this vegetation as a sort of highway to your home’s interior.
2. When Your Home’s Siding Is In Contact With Soil On The Ground
Much like how the moisture from shrubbery can cause rot when in continuous contact with the side of your home, the moisture in soil is also conducive to rot which will invite different types of pests, including carpenter ants, moisture ants and sometimes even termites. You can avoid this particular problem by digging and shoveling any mulch or soil away from the siding on your home and any deck posts or staircases. Make sure to leave plenty of space from the bottom of the siding to the ground so that the foundation of your home can be easily seen.
3. When There Are Gaps Around Any Crawl Spaces In Your Home
Gaps around the crawl spaces in your home are an invitation for rodents to make their way under your house where they can damage important components like insulation, the plastic vapor barrier and wiring. In addition to ruining these components of your home, gaps in and around your crawl spaces make it easier for rodents and other pests to gain entry into the interior of your home. One solution to the gaps around your crawl space is to hire a contractor to address the issue. You can also tackle this problem on your own by crafting a new door to your crawl space that fits more securely. Additionally, if you notice any pipes, tubing or ductwork that have cracks, you can seal these with caulk for even better protection from pests.
4. When The Screens To Your Soffit Vent Is Missing Or Damaged
If the screen to your soffit vent is damaged or missing, bats, birds, rats and other pests will have no problem entering your attic. An infestation by any of these pests can cause damage, odor and even health issues for you and your family. To ensure that your attic stays pest free, check your soffit vent to make sure it is in tact and functioning properly. If you do find that there is damage to your soffit vent, replace the screen. One reliable way you can fix your soffit vent is to re-screen the damaged areas with galvanized quarter-inch hardware cloth. Then use sturdy stainless steel staples or screws to secure the new vent screen.
5. When Your Gutters Are Clogged With Debris
Gutters that become clogged with leaves will not drain properly and the water which is supposed to drain through them will get backed up. This water accumulation will then run down the side of your house, causing rot and decay. As previously mentioned, rot will attract unwanted insects and other pests which might lead to an infestation. Additionally, if a gutter is host to standing water, it then becomes the perfect space for a female mosquito to lay her eggs. Even if your yard does not have many trees, your gutters can still become clogged with other debris. To avoid a pest infestation by way of clogged gutters, make sure to clean your gutters regularly and check that they are draining properly.
6. When Your Downspout Becomes Disconnected
A disconnected downspout means that water is not draining away from your home, but instead is draining under it or on it. This creates trapped moisture which can lead to decay and consequently, pest infestations. It is always a good idea to regularly check your downspouts to make sure they are connected and that water is draining away from your home. If you find that your downspouts are not draining properly, make sure to address this dysfunction whether through professional intervention or on your own. Either way, you do not want to wait until you have rot and decay issues before you get your disconnected downspout fixed.
7. When You Store Firewood And Other Pest Attracting Items Against Your Home
Storing objects, such as firewood bundles, up against your house will create a home for many different insects and other pests, including carpenter ants. These ants will not only live around the firewood, but will often make their way into whatever wall the firewood is touching. To avoid inviting carpenter ants and other insects into your home, make sure that you store firewood and any other items away from your home. If you do not have additional storage space to place these items and must store them near your home, make sure they are resting at least one foot away from any walls.
Twelve Every Day Items In Your Home That Are Attractive To Pests
Some pests, such as cockroaches, silverfish and termites, like to feed on a substance called cellulose which can be found in the pages of old papers and books. Leaving these items piled around your home can be an invitation to dinner for these pesky critters. To avoid an infestation caused by stacks of paper around your home, make sure you store your old books, papers, documents or letters in air tight storage containers.
2. House Plants
Unhealthy house plants are another item you might have in your home that might be attracting pests. If your house plants are already infested with plant eating insects such as aphids, they are even more likely to become attractive to pests, including ants. Ants like to feed on a substance called honeydew that is produced by aphids. Even if your plants are healthy, other insects like springtails can be attracted to them if you tend to keep the soil of your houseplants very wet and moist. Keep a close eye on any standing water around the base of your house plants and regularly check their leaves for those plant feeding aphids. This can help to reduce the chances of an insect infestation in your home.
3. White Lightbulbs
Because insects are only able to see ultraviolet, blue and green lights, they are generally attracted to light bulbs that give off cool colored light. If the LED lights in your home emit a cool toned light, the chances of insects becoming attracted to them will increase. To make your lights less attractive to invading insects, switch your lightbulbs to bulbs which give off warm or yellow colored light. This can also be effective for any outdoor lights on your front porch or back porch.
4. Unwashed Bedding
While you sleep, your body produces sweat, mucus, saliva and skin cells that can all be left behind in your bedding. This excrement can turn your bed into a breeding ground for bacteria, which then makes it attractive for pests like ants, bed bugs, mites and spiders. It is not only important to wash your bedding weekly and your mattress every two to three months as a way of practicing good hygiene, but it is also import to keep a clean bed to avoid sharing your sleeping space with bugs.
Although you may not want to believe it, your beloved pets can contribute to certain type of pest infestations in you home. Specifically, dogs and cats can carry in fleas and ticks into your home from the outdoors. Additionally, your precious pup’s food and waste can attract pests like ants, bran bugs, Indian meal moths, warehouse beetles and other insects. The crumbs left behind around a pets food bowl and the open bowls in which you pour their food can become a treasure trove of meals for infesting pests. Make sure you keep the area around your pets food bowls clean and their food supply in a tightly sealed container.
6. White Windows and Door Frames
Interestingly, some pests, and particularly stink bugs, are attracted to the white paint which can surround your window and door frames. If you want to deter bugs from visiting your home’s entry ways and windows, consider adding a pop of color to your home by painting the window and door frames a color other than white.
7. Cardboard Boxes
It is commonly known that termites will dine on the wood in and around your home. However, these tiny bugs will also be happy to snack on any cardboard boxes you have lying around your house. As a way of repelling termites, store your belongings in plastic storage containers with tightly fitting lids.
8. Untreated Wood
Certain insects, like carpenter bees, are attracted to wood which is unfinished or that has not been properly treated. If you find that you have an infestation of carpenter bees in the eaves, deck or siding of your home, it could be due to untreated wood. To keep these bees from damaging your home, make sure that all of the wood on the outside of your home is thoroughly treated with weather proofing material.
It may surprise you to know that luggage can be a culprit when it comes to pest infestations in your home. It is possible to bring certain pests, such as bed bugs or head lice, back with you in or on your luggage after you stay in a hotel. It is always a good idea to give your luggage a good wash or wipe down before bringing it into your home after a vacation.
10. Beer And Wine
Another seemingly odd item that might be contributing to your pest infestation woes is beer or wine. Fruit flies are attracted to the sweetness of these beverages and can invade your kitchen if you leave your beer or wine bottles uncovered. To keep the fruit flies away, make sure you keep a cork, bottle stopper or cap on your opened wine or beer.
11. Recycling Bin
Like your garbage can, recycling bins can accumulate liquids in the bottom that after a few days, will become very attractive to flies, cockroaches and rodents. To deter these pests from invading your recycling bin, ensure that you rinse each recycled item thoroughly before tossing it into the bin. This will cut down on the amount of food and beverage leftovers that end up in the bin’s bottom.
12. Dirty Dishes
Many pests are already attracted to your kitchen because of the food that is stored there. When you add a sink full of dirty dishes into the mix, your kitchen becomes even more attractive to a variety or insects and rodents. In addition to regularly washing your dishes, thoroughly wipe your counter top, sink, table and floor daily.
Equipped with this knowledge, you and your family can now make certain that your home does not contain any conditions or items that are conducive to a pesky pest infestation. However, if you do find that you are facing a pest infestation, call Natran Green Pest Control today for professional green pest control services.