When the temperatures get colder in Houston, insects, rodents and other animals seem to think your home is a Hilton hotel. Although they prefer their natural habitat the reason they brave the dangers of human interaction is to satisfy basic needs: food or shelter. If you are not careful they may find both in your home and, in turn, you may have a hard time getting rid of them. Once pests find a steady source of food and shelter, the burden of ridding your home of them becomes even more troublesome as pests quickly multiply.
Most people, without even realizing it, are setting their home up for infestation. Many people do not know what attracts pests and what repels them. Prevention before you have a problem is the best way to avoid an infestation. With a few tips from our experts you can make your home uninviting to insects and other pests.
DUDE, WHERE’S MY FOOD?
When it comes to understanding the attraction of your home to pests, rodents and insects, just imagine a bunch of teenagers after school at their friend’s house. Their first order of business is usually to raid the fridge, the pantry and anything else that they can scarf down, especially junk food. If you stocked your kitchen with nothing but kale chips, tofu ice cream, and rice cakes, you’d probably notice those teens would not touch a thing because you have nothing that appeals to them. In all seriousness though, pests are the same way just not as picky.
If you leave food out, such as open bags of chips, cereal boxes with that flap that never shuts or crumbs from your Super Bowl party in the couch, you can bet on a wave of critters and bugs setting up camp in your home within a week if not sooner. Most pests can use their keen sense of smell to locate a food source from quite a long distance.
The key is to make sure you not only store food in sealed containers or bags but also clean dishes, sweep floors and vacuum carpets and furniture. Any remnants of food, while it may not seem like much to you, can mean a feast to an ant or a rodent. Trash should be sealed up tight in the bag and taken out nightly and placed in covered bins. Don’t forget about pet food as well, it is often left out and easily attracts roaches.
When you eliminate the availability of food you have taken away the number one reason pests seek to infiltrate your home.
HOME IS WHERE THE HEAT IS
When you are travelling on a road trip and need to get some rest for the night, you typically look for a hotel to spend the night. Do you pull into that run down motel with the half lit sign and rusted doors that looks like a horror movie waiting to happen? That is usually not the case. Instead, you look for something off the interstate that is well lit, looks clean and most of all, inviting.
Pests are the same way and they have their own tastes for what they consider appealing in a potential shelter. While many different insects or pests have different things they find appealing, the common one they all share is accessibility. Pests look for holes on exterior walls, doors with worn through weather-stripping and open windows that allow easy entry to what they seek in the winter —heat.
While it can be challenging to make your home an impenetrable fortress to the creeping and crawling squatters, you can surely mitigate the potential of them getting in. To do so, do a walk through inside and out and look for holes in window screens, in the siding or trim, loose shingles or gaps in doors and windows. It’s also a good idea to check fences for loose or missing panels.
Never assume that any hole or gap is too small for a rodent to get through. For instance, some mice can easily squeeze through a quarter sized hole or smaller. Avoid cheap, quick fixes such as stuffing foam into a gap or hole; a mouse has the potential to chew his way right through it. In addition, cut back limbs that are hanging over your roof as it serves as a nice bridge for squirrels, raccoons and other animals to get over and into your cozy attic.
The overall goal is to make your home look like it is too much trouble to gain entry to. Remember, rodents, insects and other pests calculate how much energy to use versus what it might reward them with. They are coming to your home seeking food first, then shelter. If they can find food somewhere else and use less energy to get it, they will skip your house.
THEY ALWAYS LEAVE SIGNS
Pests may be good at hiding in your home, but they aren’t very good at being stealthy. They always leave some sort of sign that they are squatting in your home. Whether it’s droppings from mice, chewed wood particles from termites or ants, or holes in paper that roaches love to chew through; it’s almost like they are bragging of their escapades.
Some common and somewhat obvious signs to look for are:
- Live pests: Ok, this one is obvious but still important. When you see live pests, identifying them is the key in determining what kind of infestation you have and how to treat it. Remember they’re good at hiding so look in dark places, under rocks, and in damp areas near water sources.
- Dead Bugs/Pests: Notice a bunch of dead insects in the window sill or along cabinets? If they are all the same species, then there’s likely more and they are all hanging their hats in your home.
- Droppings: Yeah it’s gross, but you can tell what type of pest you have by their droppings. Roaches and bed bugs drop egg casings as well.
- Nesting: Rodents can make nests out of just about anything. Paper, grass, garbage, insulation; whatever they can find nearby. Use a flashlight and check all nooks and crannies for evidence of nesting.
- Weird Smells Or Sounds: This may take some Googling on your part, but certain pests give off certain smells. For example, mice smell like musty urine, while rats smell like ammonia. As far as sounds, listen for scurrying, scratching or squeaking noises from rodents and even insects. Once you narrow it down with some research, then you have an idea of the source of your problem.
- Bite Marks And Holes: Rodents gnaw on things incessantly, so if you notice gnaw marks on baseboards or other places in the house such as wiring, you may have a rodent issue.
BEAT PESTS TO THE PUNCH
While you can never guarantee that you won’t be the victim of an infestation, there are ways you can minimize the chances of it happening. By taking preventative measures to decrease the likelihood of infestation, you are staying one step ahead of the pests.
One of the best ways to safeguard your home from infestation is with a hands off, managed maintenance solution from the best in Houston pest control.
Our Guardian Service Plan™ is a comprehensive preventative maintenance plan that guards your house year round from pests, insects, rodents and more. Using reduced impact treatments including baits, gels, and eco-friendly dusts, we hit the pests where they live— not where you do.
We come out and perform an inspection of your home and cover the attic, the outside perimeter as well as the garage; inside and out. Our service also goes a bit deeper than most other companies as we also inspect eaves, windows, plumbing areas, and foundation.
Each treatment comes with a 90-day warranty and we suggest you have a regularly scheduled treatment every 90 days to keep your home protected. In addition to our basic preventative maintenance, at any time you can add on specialized services either one-time or on a recurring basis for:
- Fire Ants
- Carpenter Ants
With the Guardian Service Plan™, your home is protected year round and greatly reduces stress from pest infestations and could potentially avoid costly problems.
GIVE PESTS THE KNOCKOUT BLOW WITH CHAMPIONS
If you are having pest problems, we can rid them from your home and restore a sense of safety and peace of mind. Pests bring insect bites, disease, bacteria and more. Do not wait any longer, make your home safe again with Champions Pest Control! Call us today at 281-940-7955.