When summer rolls round, we open up our home to good vibes and sunshine.
But while the good weather brings lots of fun outdoors, it can also bring a number of pests indoors. The most common being mosquitoes, flies, ants and cockroaches.
These are not only nuisances, but they can also pose a number of health risks to you and your loved ones.
Pests have the same basic needs we do: food, water and shelter.
Eliminating their ability to meet these basic needs in your house will go a long way in preventing an infestation which is, after all, far easier and cheaper than dealing with an infestation that has had time to get established.
So here are our top eight tips to keep your home pest free this summer and still make the most of the weather.
Tip 1: Clear away all food
Food debris is like a magnet for pests.
Cockroaches, slugs, ants, you name it, they all want reservations to the hottest restaurant in town, your house.
It might not look like much, but crumbs and unsealed containers are potential feasts for pests. And the summer, with barbecues, get-togethers and plenty to do means people are more likely to leave food out.
Keeping your kitchen spotless this summer will go a long way in preventing an infestation. Keep leftover food in tightly sealed containers and hoover and clean the floor regularly.
Finally, remember to wipe down all surfaces after cooking and eating and don’t leave any dirty dishes out in the open or you’ll hear the annoying buzz of flies before you know it!
Tip 2: Keep your bins clean
After dealing with the kitchen, the next target for pests are your bins. Keep food waste in a bin with a lid and ensure its tightly sealed and emptied regularly. This goes double for any compost bins as their dark, warm and moist food heavy environment makes them the dream home for pests.
Ensure your outside bins are tidy and bags are tied up and put away. Make sure any spillages are cleared up as quickly as possible and things are as sanitary as possible. The dirtier things get, the more attractive they are for pests.
Tip 3: Keep things dry
In the summer heat, pests are on the lookout for dark and damp places to shelter in and breed. So make sure your house is well ventilated and dry to prevent infestations.
Deal with any existing damp issues as quickly as possible by addressing the source of the problem. If you see any silverfish (a harmless cylindrical grey insect) crawling around you might have a more serious damp problem.
Standing water is also a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, so eliminate the source by replacing the water in any bird baths, circulating pond water with a pump and unclogging your gutters.
Remember, when it comes to dealing with summer pests; the drier things are the better.
Tip 4: Tidy the garden and use it
Besides being a nicer place to spend the warmer evenings, a tidy garden can also help disrupt pest infestation.
Keep grass cut short to limit the number of places pests can hide and avoid over-fertilising, as heavy sod can become the perfect moist breeding ground for pests.
If you are lucky enough to have fruit trees in your garden, make sure you clear up any fallen fruits before they have a chance to rot and attract pests, and keep firewood and mulch well away from any entrances to your home.
Keep an eye on overhanging branches that can provide a nifty bridge to your home. A clear barrier of one or two feet between your home and any vegetation can help reduce pathways for pests.
Integrated Pest Management :
It’s just a fancy way of describing fighting insects with their natural enemies and your garden can act as a powerful natural barrier to pests in your home.
Pests hate pungent plants, so planting the likes of geraniums or lemongrass (which contain citronella oil) or mint and rosemary (which double as cooking herbs) can repel a great deal of pests.
Encouraging natural predators, like common songbirds, to make your garden their home can also keep pests down. Entice the likes of sparrows and cardinals to your garden with suet cakes and encourage them to stay with a birdhouse.
Tip 5: Pests can hitch a ride on your pets!
If you’re not careful, pests can hitchhike straight into your home on your cat or dog.
While cats can help deter rodent infestations, cat fleas are also the most common household flea. These biting bugs can also easily travel by dog and when in contact with humans, they can lead to horribly itchy nights and eczema. And during the summer, with all that increased outdoor activity, your pets are much more likely to get fleas.
All this is largely avoidable if you ensure you regularly treat your pet with flea treatment, especially when the weather starts to warm up. It’s also helpful to brush and wash your pet’s bedding once a fortnight and keep their food and water area’s spotless.
Tip 6: Seal any cracks and crevices
Pests will exploit any opening you leave them, so before the summer months are in full swing, it’s best to check around all your exterior windows, doors and pipes for any cracks and crevices . To pests, these are a rolled out red carpet into your home.
A major area pests like to exploit is the gaps above and below your sink as it is the perfect damp and dark place for them to hide in.
Tip 7: Go on the offensive with some homemade repellents.
There Is a type of soil called diatomaceous earth, which you can purchase at garden centres, that act as a natural kryptonite against many kinds of pests. Containing crushed up shells, this soil is fatal to any insect that crawls across it while being safe for humans and pets.
Borax and sugar:
Sprinkle equal parts borax and sugar where you see ants gathering. This mixture will kill them, but not before they take it back and share it with the rest of the colony.
Apple cider vinegar:
Along with everything else it can do, this versatile household material can also be used to fight fruit flies. Simply fill a glass with two inches of apple cider vinegar, cover the top with plastic wrap and poke holes for the flies. They’ll be attracted by the smell and climb in, but they won’t be climbing out.
Tip 8: Call in the professionals
Even with the best will in the world, sometimes pests will find a way to get inside your home and become established. When that happens, make sure you hire a reputable professional service that will deal with the problem quickly and safely.
The worst thing you can do for a pest infestation is ignore it, so keep an eye out for any signs of infestation and if you spot any, act quickly.
At Falcon Pest Control, we have over two decades of experience dealing with a wide range of pests and can provide a transparent and reliable service to get your home back to being pest free, leaving you free to make the most of the summer.