When you’re a homeowner in Houston, there can be nothing more frustrating than seeing the telltale signs of an infestation: roach and mouse droppings on the floor, chewed up wood a trail of ants running away with crumbs from your trash can.
Houston residents know that living in a warm, humid climate means pests will always try to move themselves in when they can — but do they have to be doing that all the time? Couldn’t pests just take a few days off and leave your house alone for a little while?
We at Natran Green Pest control know how you feel. We’ve seen homeowners struggle with different types of infestations over the years, and our pest control services have helped them keep the pests at bay. Sometimes, however, it seems like when one pest is cleared, another one wants to try to take its place.
The truth is your home is a veritable paradise for many of these pests, so in order to keep them out, you’ve got to make your home as inhospitable as possible. By doing this, you’ll be creating the ultimate clean, pest-free environment.
Here’s how to keep every room in your home clean and pest-free — and how our pest control services can help when you need to call in an expert.
Out of all the rooms in your home, the one almost all pests want to reach is the kitchen. As the source of the food in your home, the kitchen is by far the most popular room for most pests, and you should be doing all you can to prevent pests from moving in and attracting more.
Here’s how to prevent pests in your kitchen:
- Cover all of your food sources: Do not leave chips or crackers out. When you’re done cooking, put everything away and make sure it’s all packed up tight. Rodents and cockroaches especially love to get into open containers to check for food, so pack it up immediately.
- Secure your trash can: A trash can with an open top will almost certainly attract ants and other pests. Invest in a secure one with a lock on the top of the lid. This will also help keep the smell at bay.
- Repair leaking pipes under your sink: Many pests look for water sources, so if a pipe is leaking under your sink, it could be creating a haven for pests. Repair leaks right away and make sure the area below the pipes is free of moisture.
- Don’t forget pet food: Pests aren’t picky and will target pet food if it’s left out. Keep a lid on your pet’s food and don’t let it sit in the bowl if possible.
Make sure your whole family is committed to putting food away in the kitchen. Nothing attracts pests like an open food source, and then you’ll definitely be calling for pest control services. Keep food sources under wraps, and you’ll see fewer pests in your kitchen.
Another big target for pests is the bathroom. This is because of the humid environment, which many pests love, and the access to water. Pests always seem to find even the smallest access to water, and it’s not uncommon to see a trail of ants looking for water in the bathroom.
One of the best things you can do to prevent pests in your bathroom is to keep it as dry as possible, but in a bathroom, that’s easier said than done. Moisture is everywhere, and if your bathroom has poor ventilation, that moisture can stick around long after you’ve left the bathroom. But your best bet to preventing pests in the bathroom is to get rid of moisture so:
- Lay down towels and bathroom matts at the base of your shower: This will catch droplets that fall off you when you step out of the shower.
- Wipe down your sink when you’re finished: This will remove water and debris.
- Fix any leaky pipes: Check under your sink regularly for leaks, and if you think your shower might be leaking, get it inspected by a plumber immediately.
- Install a ventilation system: This will get rid of humid air quickly and help your bathroom dry up.
Keeping moisture at bay in your bathroom will also help you with another pest: mold. Mold thrives in damp spaces.
The last thing you want to do is share your bed with a rat or ants. Though bedrooms aren’t often the targets of infestations — most pests go after the food in the kitchen or the moisture in the bathroom — bedrooms can become targets if homeowners and children aren’t careful about what they leave in their bedrooms.
One of the most common, yet ultimately frightening, bedroom pests are bed bugs. These tiny pests latch onto your mattress, and at night, they creep out to bite and feed of your blood. You’ll know you have bed bugs when you start seeing small, itchy dots on your body. You may also see red or brown smears on your sheets.
Bed bugs can be difficult to get rid of, so you want to try and prevent them from getting into your home in the first place. Practicing general hygiene like vacuuming regularly around your home — and all the tips we’ve previously discussed — will help keep bed bugs out.
Other pests, however, can infiltrate bedrooms as well, so remember to:
- Take out all food and drinks from bedrooms: Snacks and sugary drinks should be returned to the kitchen as soon as possible. Make sure your children know this is expected of them — or simply don’t allow food or drinks in bedrooms.
- Clear piles of clothes and papers: Rats especially love to make nests in piles of old clothes and newspapers. Your children should be putting away clothes and keeping them off the floor.
However you use your basement, it is the one area of your home that is almost constantly at risk for pest infestations, mainly because it’s literally in the ground and easier to infiltrate. That doesn’t mean you can’t employ some protective measures to keep pests away.
Here’s what you can do to stop an infestation before it has a chance:
- Keep your basement well ventilated and dry: Pests love moisture, so if your basement has high humidity, consider a dehumidifier.
- Repair any leaks and wipe up moisture: Any pipes leaking into your basement should be fixed immediately. Pests will be drawn to that moisture, so contact a plumber immediately. In the meantime, be diligent about wiping away moisture.
- Replace weather-stripping around windows: This added protection to your windows will keep pests from finding their way in through cracks around the windows.
- Repair loose mortor around your basement foundation and windows: Termites especially love to find cracks in your foundation because it allows them to get in and look for the wooden parts of your foundation in the basement. Once in, they can cause thousands of dollars in damage before you even notice they’re there.
Get into the habit of monitoring your basement’s foundation outside and notice any cracks or holes. Repair them immediately. It can be difficult to tell when termites or ants get in through the cracks in your foundation, but if you monitor your foundation, you’ll either prevent an infestation or catch it before it gets out of hand.
Out of all the rooms in your home, the attic can be the most difficult to monitor. Most people use their attics for additional storage and only venture up there a few times per year.
Though you may not spend a lot of time in your attic, pests would love to. Attics are ideal for pests because they’re usually cut off from the rest of the living area, making them quieter and safer for pests. They’re usually warm, and if there’s a leak, then there’s access to water. For larger rodents, like mice and roof rats, and insects like wasps, the attic provides a safe shelter to wait out the winter.
Here are a few tips to keep pests from making a home in your attic:
- Repair holes and seal cracks: Mice can fit through holes the size of quarters. Fix all holes and cracks to stop pests from getting inside.
- Insulate your attic: You should have a fully insulated attic. Not only can it help you save on energy bills, but it’s also a good strategy for preventing pests.
- Remove piles of fabric and paper: Just as in bedrooms, fabric and paper can become great homes for pests in the attic. Put clothes in sealed boxed and recycle or otherwise store old papers.
- Keep tree branches off your roof: When a tree branch hangs low over your home, it creates a bridge, allowing squirrels, racoons and roof rats easy access to your attic.
If you don’t usually go up to your attic, make a point of going up there once or twice a month and look around. You may spot a problem and have time to repair it before it leads to an infestation.
If you decide to ignore all other advice that we’ve gone over in this blog, you can still help control pests in your home if you only pay attention to your exterior. If you make it harder for pests to get into your home, chances are they won’t bother and will target another home where defenses aren’t as high.
Here’s what you can do to prevent infestations outdoors.
- Keep firewood away from your home: Ants and termites love to make their homes in piles of wood. If it’s kept next to your home, then there’s a good chance the pests will wander into your home. Keep firewood piles at least three feet away from your house’s edge and bring in only what you intend to burn right away.
- Get rid of standing water: Standing water in fountains and clogged gutters make ideal homes for mosquitoes. These legendary pests like to lay eggs in standing water, so clean out your gutters regularly.
- Trim trees and bushes: How do roof rats get into your attic? It’s usually by a tree branch that hangs over your roof. Though large trees look beautiful, branches that touch the roof of your home should be trimmed. Pests also like to hide out in bushes near your home, so keep those trimmed as well.
- Repair window and door screens: A broken screen provides an easy way into your home for any pest — especially if it’s a basement window. Repair or replace broken screens to stop pests before they even try to get into your home.
Even if you do everything right on this list, there’s always a chance that pests will find some way into your home. When that happens, it’s time to call in the experts of pest control services.
The best pest control services in Houston
At Natran Green Pest Control, we consider ourselves to be one of the best, if not the best, pest control services in Houston. Why? Because we know how much you value having a clean, pest-free environment in your home and what harsh chemicals and pesticides can do to your home.
That’s why our pest control services are all green and environmentally friendly. We use botanical-based products that are safe to use around children and pets, but strong against even the most resilient pests. Our experts in pest control services will help you assess your home and identify your pest problem — how they’re getting in, what they’re eating and how big the infestation has gotten. Once we’ve identified the problem, we’ll work with you to determine a plan of action to combat the pest problem and get started right away.
With our pest control services, you can always ask our experts for advice. All of our pest control experts are highly trained, and in their line of work, they’ve seen just about everything. They can help you find ways to prevent pests without having to call our pest control services every few weeks when a new pest decides to move in.
Share with us in the comments: What do you struggle with the most when it comes to keeping pests out of the home? Let us know in the comments and how our pest control services can help.