Keeping the place clean and shut your home doors to pests are some common pest eradication know-how among most homes. However, pest prevention is not just about sanitation as pest infestation occurs because of several factors. Rentokil shares what are the common pest preventive tips that you can start to include in your spring cleaning regime and in particular, paying attention to the pests’ favorite haunt, the kitchen.
Where do pests usually like in the home?
Typically, places with food and water are where pests will be found lurking around, and it is easy to identify specific areas in your home with these food supplies. Firstly, the kitchen is the top of the list where any pests would be very interested in. From sweets to grease, food debris and scrapes, water supplies and trash, there is an abundance of food for pests to feed on. Secondly, bathrooms are another favorite pest choice because of its water and moisture availability. Be it from a shower, washing of face, laundry or bathroom cleaning, water presence is inevitable. Thirdly, the balcony because of the placement of plants that attracts mosquitoes. Worst of all, poor water habits and wet weather promotes clear standing and stagnant water, resulting in mosquito breeding. Thirdly, bedrooms are also not let off because of human warm where pests such as bed bugs are attracted. They seek human hosts for blood meals for survival. Finally, any parts of the home are actually potential pest risk areas, so long as there are poor housekeeping and sanitation standards where food source is present. Above all, home and décor may affect pest problems and it helps to tweak the design of the home to enhance pest prevention efforts.
Why do pests invade homes?
Pests can occur anytime and anywhere, there are times that factors such as environment and situation causes pests to occur suddenly. While the key reasons for pests infestation start from basic factors including housekeeping and sanitation regime, there are various factors that we are not aware of.
- Not cleaning up the moisture, damp and wet surfaces that pests seek for a living
- Leaving windows and doors open that provide opportunities for flying pests to enter
- Lack of detection and inspection of yourself, items and belonging when returning home
- Wear and tear and degeneration of the home structure that allows pest entries
- Wet weather that generates receptacles for mosquito infestation to take place
- Warm climate that shortens the mosquito life cycle and increases dengue cases risks
- Cross infestation especially the cases of bed bugs that result from globalization
- Lack of proofing around the home that allows external pests from entering
- Choice of materials and home furnishing that attracts pests such as termites
- Procrastinating pest control and causes infestation level to escalate
- Use of DIY and home pest remedies that did not eliminate the root source
- Indirect entry to the home via underground that is less visible to humans
Six spring cleaning tips to stay pest-free
Eliminate clutter and mess
All of the stuff we store in our homes provides places for rodents and other pests to hideout. Basements, attics, and garages that often go undisturbed for a long period are some of their favorite spots. Keep your home free of clutter by getting rid of any items you no longer need. Store all of your belongings in plastic airtight containers to keep pests out and your belongings protected.
Clutter gives pests places to hide and makes them difficult to detect. Having a lot of stuff can also make it harder to clean under and behind items are places pests love to hide and build nests. This could also make pests difficult to control, even for the professionals. Eliminating clutter can help eliminate pests in your home.
Watch your wires
Electrical boxes and wiring are the favorites of pests looking for a warm place to live. Open the electrical boxes and look for living or dead insects. Check for damages before you touch any wire, even if you do not think it has a charge running through it. Damaged wires might also overload and short out damage-attached appliances. Worst of all, exposed wires can overheat and spark, which could lead to dangerous electrical fires.
Rodents in particular love to sharpen their teeth on electrical cords. They frequently chew plastic—especially the soft plastic cover over cords—and expose the wiring within. Sometimes, they will even damage the wire itself, releasing the electrical current. Rodent-related electrical damage is especially dangerous because it often goes unnoticed. If you notice anything suspicious, alert your pest control specialist right away.
Do not feed the animals or pests
While we do recommend that you feed your pets, make sure they do not leave a mess behind thereafter. Pet food, birdseed and dry food items are tempting snacks for hungry pests. In your pantry, keep dried foods and grains in sealed, pest-proof containers. The same holds true for pet foods. Keep areas where animals eat swept, and empty bowls after your furry friends have eaten. Hose down outside spaces after barbecues. Finally, if your kids’ snack in rooms other than the kitchen make sure they clean up right away.
Seal cracks, crevices and gaps
Pests of all kinds can make their way into your home through the smallest gaps and cracks – particularly near windows, doors, and rooflines or around electrical wiring and vents. These should be sealed to prevent pests from getting in. Eliminating potential pest entry points into your home is the best defense you can take to prevent an indoor infestation. In addition, sealing your home can have other benefits like reducing energy costs, preventing water damage, and making your home more secure.
Fix leaks and eliminate standing water
Moisture of any kind is a huge attractant for pests, including termites, mosquitoes and rodents. Remove items that may collect water – toys, plant pots, non-functioning birdbaths, pails and discarded items etc. Make sure subareas are dry, and clean those gutters. Do repair any leaking faucet or plumbing, both inside and as well. Inside your home, wipe down kitchen countertops and bathroom sinks. Some insects like spiders, silverfish, and ants may enter your home through your pipes. If parts of your home are humid or damp in warmer months, a dehumidifier can help control excess moisture.
Clean up the yard and garden
Leaves, tree stumps and plant waste offer places and safe harbors for pests. Trees hanging over roofs can also give pests access to your home. To prevent pests from invading your home, rake and clean up plant debris, especially under porches and decks. Keep trees trimmed, leaving at least a three-foot clearance between the tree and any structure. Remove dead branches and brush, and store firewood at least 25 feet away from your home. In addition, check for rotten and damaged wooden logs and timbres that can be potential sign of termite infestation.
Getting rid of pantry raiding pests
Pantry pests can destroy your food. They get into your cabinets, crawl through your food and contaminate your supplies and eating tools. Pantry pests can infest bags of flour, containers of sugar and boxes of rice. Although these pests do not pose serious health or property threats, they can quickly infest an area causing major headaches for homeowners.
Firstly, they will cause disease transmissions such as Salmonella and E. Coli. Secondly, pests can stain the kitchen surfaces and furnish them with their urine and droppings. Thirdly, pest presence emits some form of foul smell and stench. Above all, they can appear even in the daytime to send us a shock should infestation level turn serious. This is especially so for nocturnal pests that surface at night in search of food such as cockroaches.
Which are the common pantry pests
While mice and rats favor the kitchens, this is no excuse and difference among smaller bugs as well. A variety of pests are considered pantry pests including beetles, ants, earwigs, and pillbugs, but the most common species are the Indian meal moth and merchant grain beetle. These insects look for food sources around which they build nests and mate. Letting this problem go unchecked will only lead to an out of control situation. Take precautions to protect your home from these pests.
However, perhaps the more common pests that we associate pests to pantry and kitchen are those of ants and cockroaches. This is because they feed on almost everything you can find in the kitchen and without a proper kitchen organising regime, it is most likely these pests will share hearty meals with you and your family.
Do not buy in bulk high risk food supplies
Buying large quantities of dry goods that sit in cupboards is an open invitation for pests. Big sized bags of flour, wheat, grains, beans, sugar and rice are the most desired places for bugs to congregate. Buy smaller quantities of these items and replace them as needed. When you store them, keep them in airtight containers that keep pests out.
Inspect your groceries
Quite often, pantry pests enter your home in products that were already infested upon purchase. Check packages before you put them in your shopping cart. Ripped boxes of cereal, cake mix, beans, and powdered milk provide easy access to unwanted pests. You should also be aware of rips and tears in pet food bags. Pantry pests love your dog’s food even more than he does. It pays to be proactive in controlling pests before they get to your house.
Purchase proper storage
Keeping snacks, baking ingredients, and other foods stored in airtight containers is one of the best ways to prevent a pantry pest infestation. Invest in quality plastic or glass containers with secure lids to protect your food from these pests. Organise your kitchen structure and allow adequate storage space to avoid cluttering tabletops and among appliances and promote easy cleaning.
Practice good sanitation
Make sure you regularly clean up spills and crumbs from countertops, tables, floors, and shelves. Keep your garbage sealed and dispose of it regularly. These efforts will also help to prevent other pest invasions like ants, cockroaches and rats. It may be a good idea to periodically empty your cabinets and clean them with soap and water.
In addition, the disk sink is often a neglected area. For example, soiled dishes, greasy sinks and food residues not removed promptly promote pests of poor hygiene such as cockroaches. Trash should also be dealt with immediately to avoid pests picking up decaying matter and feed on them, while reproducing quickly in your home.
Act quickly and avoid procrastination
If you find pantry pests in your kitchen, get rid of infested foods in outdoor trash bins and clean all of the shelves in cupboards with a vacuum. Depending on the level of infestation, you may need to have a pest control service to inspect and treat the problem to prevent further contamination. Often, procrastination in fixing defects, setting a diligent housekeeping habit or rectifying a detected pest issue leads to more serious outcomes.
Seek professional pest control services
Some DIY home remedies may do some trick but this is efficient if it is a minor issue. There are some possible reasons why pest remedies do not work and seeking a pest control company is the better choice.
- Lack of awareness on where to spray and place the baits
- Ineffective or less superior active ingredient and dosage
- Not addressing the root source of the problem
- Methods are repelling and deterring and not elimination
- Pests are complex to deal with such as bed bugs or termites
- Infestation is epidemic and large scale such as dengue clusters
Pest management not only treats the pest issue based on professional site survey and risk assessment, regular detection, inspection and monitoring of the premise will be carried out. In addition, recommendations and advice such as useful tips and home maintenance relating to proofing are shared as well. Find out more on the integrated pest management solutions offered by Rentokil Initial. For certain environments and pest type infestation, pest trend analysis and key risk mapping is reviewed. Above all, reporting and service updates are also available via online portal for 24/7 updates and communication.
Call Rentokil Singapore at 6347 8138 for a pest control solution today.
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