Pests, whether they’re in the form of insects, fungi, or rodents, can pose a serious threat to any and all living things.
While you might dismiss the odd insect in your home as a mere annoyance, some pests can cause serious harm to humans, their surroundings, and their food supply. For example, mosquitoes can spread diseases such as Zika virus, dengue, and malaria while rodents can spread leptospirosis, salmonellosis, and rat-bite fever.
Because of these dangers, some of the most common pest control methods seek to eliminate pests for good. Although, there are a number of alternative control methods to consider if you’re battling a pest problem of your own.
Keep reading to learn more about some of the most effective pest control methods.
- Good Hygiene
As all good pest control specialists will tell you, keeping your house clean is the best way to stop many types of pests from becoming a problem in the first place.
Practicing good hygiene in the kitchen is especially vital. The potential for food debris makes this area of the home a big draw for pests like rats, ants, and cockroaches.
Make sure to wash the dishes and clean crumbs away from the floors and countertops after every meal. And don’t forget to clean inside cupboards and drawers and under appliances like the toaster. Food debris can accumulate in these hidden places and attract all manner of unwanted pests.
You should also store all food in sealed containers, throw away all expired products, and keep trash and recyclables to a minimum.
- Organic Options
While chemical pesticides are good at getting rid of pests, they can leave traces of harmful toxins behind. If your pest problem is still small and manageable, you may prefer to try organic insect pest control before resorting to chemical control methods.
Essential oils such as rosemary, citronella, and tea tree are excellent natural insect repellents. For an effective organic bug spray, mix two teaspoons of essential oils and a cup of grain alcohol. Spritz the mixture around your home to keep out insects such as mosquitoes, termites, cockroaches, and fleas.
Apple cider vinegar, stale wine, rotten fruits, and candles are all you need to get rid of gnats or fruit flies. You can set up traps once you start seeing these pests flying inside your home.
If you have an ant problem, chalk is a great natural deterrent for this particular pest. Ants don’t like the way chalk sticks to their legs and tend to avoid it at all costs. Draw a thin line of chalk inside kitchen cupboards and at the edges of countertops to stop ants from congregating.
- Focus on the Source
The key to any form of pest control is to find the source of the problem. After all, what is pest control without future pest prevention?
When it comes to insect infestations, stagnant water or damp and humid conditions are often to blame.
Open your windows, and use extractor fans or a dehumidifier to limit moisture where necessary. And make sure to check your walls and ceilings for moisture on a regular basis, especially after a period of wet weather.
Unkempt yards can be a haven for insects like mosquitoes. They thrive in damp, shady areas and can breed in a mere bottle cap of water.
Regular outdoor maintenance can stop these pests from plaguing your home. That means clearing gutters, trimming back bushes, and removing water from pool covers, buckets, old tires, and anywhere else rainwater can collect.
- Mechanical Removal
One of the types of controlling pests often used by small farms and gardeners is mechanical removal.
Mechanical removal can refer to the use of water spray to dislodge insects from plants. But it can also involve tilling the soil as a way to expose insects to birds and other predators.
And, in some cases, mechanical insect control includes picking larger insects from plants. But, since this is such a labor-intensive method it’s not viable for larger farms.
- Physical Pest Control
The best way to keep certain types of pests from plaguing your home is with physical pest control. This involves introducing physical barriers in and around your home as a way to avoid giving pests the opportunity to enter.
Rats and insects are always on the lookout for tiny gaps to squeeze into. These gaps can be around exposed pipes, in your basement, or in the corners of your walls. But wherever they are, they’re like an open invitation for pests.
Make sure to fill any holes or gaps you see with caulk to stop pests from entering. Or, if pests are a problem in your garden, introduce larger barriers such as screens or greenhouses to protect your plants.
- Chemical Control
Chemical control methods can be either natural or synthesized and are available in solid, liquid, and aerosol form. Most pesticides work to kill insects and other types of pests, although some inhibit the mating process or cause irritation.
Although they’re effective at stopping pests, pesticides are often hazardous and can contaminate water, land, food, and air.
As such, make sure to read and follow the exact instructions when using pesticides in your home or garden. And always avoid using chemical pest control methods anywhere near food, drink, utensils, and other usable items at risk of contamination.
- Professional Help
Sometimes, pest problems can be so overwhelming that the only option is to call in the professionals.
Pest control experts have the necessary knowledge and exact tools to help you with all types of pests, from bugs to wildlife. This can include tools or methods to locate the pests, special treatments to draw them out, and the perfect pesticide to remove them for you. And, they’ll also be able to advise you on how to avoid the same problem in the future.
The Most Effective Pest Control Methods to Use
It’s clear that prevention goes a long way when it comes to avoiding unwanted pests.
Although, if it’s too late for that and the pests have already found their way into your home, at least one of these leading pest control methods should help solve your problem.
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