Preparing for Pests

July 17, 2019
Scarlet Hurley

With the onset of warm, dry weather, you might experience ants, mice, and even cockroaches appearing in your home for sale in Vacaville or home for sale in Fairfield. They all have a common goal: Finding food and water. Knowing this can go a long way in helping to prevent an unwanted incursion into your home.

Ants: The first indication of an impending ant invasion is the discovery of individual scouts in the home. Once a scout has found a source of food or water in your home, she’ll notify the rest of the colony of the location, leading to the familiar trail of ants parading through your home. Scouts should be killed before they can alert other ants of their findings. You can also strategically place ant bait for the ants to carry back the colony, which will be fed to the queen, killing it. Once the queen is dead, the colony will die off. Alternatively, you can use a product such as Diatomaceous Earth, which works by dehydrating the insects, causing death. Diatomaceous Earth has little toxicity to humans or pets. Both products take time to work but have the advantage of killing off the entire colony, as opposed to toxic sprays that only kill the ants in the immediate area.

Cockroaches: The first place you will likely see a cockroach in your home is in the garage because roaches prefer cool, moist areas. They’re mainly active during the night and tend to follow along the edges of walls, cabinets, and cupboards, etc. Several products are available for dealing with roaches, with some being similar to those used to treat ants. Diatomaceous Earth works on roaches the same as it works on ants – the powder causes severe dehydration, leading to death. There are also roach baits available and though slower acting than sprays, the poison works very effectively without the hazards that come with spraying aerosol poisons. If you suspect only a small infestation of roaches, you may want to consider the strategic placement of sticky traps. Some of these low-tech traps are scented with pheromones that attract the roaches to the traps, which they get stuck on and die.

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Rats and Mice: Rats and mice are usually discovered by the droppings they leave but may also be indicated by the holes they gnaw through walls. They also make their presence known by scampering noises in the walls and attic at night. There are several products available for home use, though there may be some drawbacks. For instance, the old-fashioned method of using spring-loaded traps is still effective but can be a bit gruesome and unpleasant to deal with. Poisonous baits are more convenient, but you don’t have control of where the rat or mouse will call its final resting place (such as in the wall).

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And Stay Out!… Although there are several reliable products available to treat pest infestations, the best defense is prevention. Denying pests of the things they are seeking – food, water, and access – will cause them to leave your home for sale in Vacaville or home for sale in Fairfield and go elsewhere. Here are some ideas to help keep these pests out in the first place: *Store food in tightly-sealing containers or in the refrigerator. *Keep things clean and dry. Wipe counters clean and sweep any food from the floors. Don’t leave dirty dishes out, even in the dishwasher. *Fix any leaking pipes and faucets. Remember, these pests are looking for food AND water. Any gaps where the pipes come through the walls should be filled in; use caulk on small gaps and a copper mesh pad (such as Brillo) for larger holes (steel wool will rust). *Keep trash in containers with tightly closed lids. Empty trash regularly. *Rinse out your recyclables before storing. Before you break out the can of poison spray or call a professional pest service, give these inexpensive but effective methods a try.

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