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Rodents, cockroaches, insects, and bugs are some of the most common household pests. Having an idea of how to prevent these from coming to your house is the first step to having a pest-free home.

According to a survey conducted by the University of Kentucky, most people will only think about pest control after their homes have been infested. Many will rush to spray the bugs with an insecticide, while others will turn to pest control companies for help with the same. You however shouldn’t be on the defense all the time; you can switch to offense mode to help keep rodents, birds, and insects from coming to your home. Outlined below are a few tips, tricks, and ideas on how to keep pests out.

Your first line of defense should be getting rid of any breeding, harboring, and feeding grounds around the house. This reduces the chances of these pests getting into the house altogether. You, therefore, need to eliminate conditions that favor or attract pest. Here are a ten ways how to handle these.

  1. Mulch and Plants

Mulch and some plants provide just the ideal shelter for most pests. Wood chips, pine straw, and grass are magnets for pests and should be avoided around the house. Consider switching to an alternative type of mulch, such as stones and rocks. You will also need to trim any shrubbery and tree branches touching the house. Branches act as bridges for pests to your home, hence should be trimmed.

  1. Windows and Doors

Insects and other pests can squirm through tiny gaps and cracks left by windows and doors. Checking for broken or warped windows and doors, then having them repaired to ensure they fit perfectly is therefore recommended. Be sure to repair tears and rips in screens as well. To be safe, use screen meshes with at least 200 holes per square inch.

  1. Gaps and Cracks

Check your home’s exterior for gaps and cracks. These could be due to missing shingles, loose siding, foundation cracks, and gaps left around pipes, electrical and cable wiring, among other utility lines.  Some of these openings and gaps can be sealed using coarse steel wool. Copper mesh, mortar, or sheet metal. Avoid caulk as most pests can chew through it.

  1. Litter and Trash

Standing water, weeds, and litter can be habitats for pests, be sure to keep your home free of these, and especially in around decks, patios, yards, and the garage. Check the area regularly for spills and debris, and ensure all trash cans and bins have a tight-fitting lid.

  1. Lights

Mercury vapor lights tend to attract insects and flying pests according to Eliminate Solutions pest control services in Scotland. Replacing these with halogen or high-pressure sodium vapor lights should however help repel most of these insects. Consider using orange, yellow, or pink light tints as they are less attractive to flying insects. Experts also recommend placing exterior lights far away from the door but facing it. You can use pole lights to ensure the light is only shining towards the door for safety.

  1. Interior Gaps

Check for gaps in the interior side of the house, such as behind kitchen cabinets, under cabinets, stoves, refrigerators, and between the floor and wall juncture. Any gaps larger than ¼ inches should be sealed immediately as well.

  1. Drains

Floor and sink drains accumulate debris and gunk, and also provide perfect breeding grounds for small flies and other pests. Be sure to check the sink, basement, tub, and laundry room floor drains for such, and clean them once in a while.

  1. Recycled Items

Recyclables should always be stored outside and away from the house. If not, consider rinsing the containers thoroughly and covered with a tight lid. These containers not only need to be clean all the time but should be rodent proof as well.

  1. Stored Foods

Always store foods in a sealable bag or plastic container. Any food left in opened boxes and bags should be kept in re-sealable bags as well. Leaving food in the open only attracts more pests into the house, thus making it almost impossible to have a pest-free home. Uneaten foods should be kept well or tossed to the bin.

  1. Cleanliness

Pests abhor a clean home. Clean surfaces in the house make it almost impossible for pests to live and breed.  Very few of them (if any) will find their way into your home. This thus means you don’t have to call a pest control professional after every few months.