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The Basics of Pest Prevention: What Homeowners Need to Know

Part of being a new homeowner is the responsibility for all the maintenance and upkeep. Part of this is preventing pests from getting in and wreaking havoc on or in your home. Pests are expensive to eliminate and can cost you thousands of dollars in damages if they get in. Follow these tips to prevent pests such as termites, roaches, and bed bugs from making your home theirs too.


Reduce Moisture

Pests thrive with moisture. They need it to survive and will swarm to areas with standing water. According to the EPA, “Bugs and rodents go wherever there is water. If you have a water leak in or under your house, and the wood stays wet, it will attract pests such as: wood lice, carpenter ants, and termites. Pests that eat wood are particularly interested in moist wood because it is easier for them to chew.”

Repair any leaking faucets, damaged roofing, and empty leaves out of gutters. A lot of brush around your home also creates a moist environment perfect for a colony to form. Put dehumidifiers in areas prone to excess moisture such as the basement to dry them out. Send water from sprinklers and irrigation away from your home’s foundation.


Keep Wood Away

It’s not possible to completely eliminate wood in your home, but you should clean up any debris you have laying around. Wood is the ideal breeding ground for Termites, which can threaten the integrity of the home. According to Arete, “Because termites can be hard to detect, you may not see them until actual damage has been done.”  Keep firewood at least 20 feet from your house. It’s best if you can lift it up off the ground to make it harder to access and off the soil. They won’t go where they can’t find food to sustain themselves.


Clear Foundation

Your foundation should be visible all around your home and not covered by anything. This includes mulch and flower beds. Plan carefully when adding a permanent walkway or other structure to put it in a location that creates an environment favorable for an infestation.


Safe Travels

When returning to your home after visiting a location where many guests and their belongings are present, such as a hotel or hospital, it’s possible to bring a bed bug back with you. These tiny critters are notorious for multiplying quickly and tend to need professional removal. They hide in cracks and crevices, headboards and other areas around the bed or other furniture. Consider keeping your belongings in a plastic bag when traveling. Examine your luggage closely when you get home and vacuum your bags out as an extra precaution. Avoid bringing secondhand furniture in your home without checking it over thoroughly for signs of infestation such as blood spots or dots along the seams.


Keep the Home Clean

Dirty homes attract pests. As the brilliantly low-brow Archer correctly points out, “that’s how you get ants.” Sweeping floors, storing food appropriately, and keeping dirty dishes out of the sink will go a long way to keeping ants, flies, spiders, and other secondary pests away. Of course, we know that your life is busy, and the average family is finding less and less time to do a thorough job keeping up with the cleaning. West Maids would love to be part of your cleaning solution! Schedule an appointment today!


Keep your home pest free by being vigilant. Don’t be lax when maintaining your home. You’ll save plenty of time and money by preventing an infestation instead of treating one. Keeping a home clean is important, and it’s never been easier!

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