Preventing pest infestations is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy home. Though household pests may seem small and insignificant, their presence can have a starkly negative impact on your family members’ health. Bugs and rodents can contaminate food and surfaces where you prepare meals. Their droppings and the skin they shed can also worsen your indoor air quality and aggravate allergies and asthma.
Fortunately, you can maintain a hygienic, pest-free environment by adopting some smart habits around the house. Our experts have put together our list of top "anti-pest" tips below.
Tip #1: Store unrefrigerated food and ingredients in clear, sturdy, airtight containers.
When it comes to preventing creepy-crawly invasions, not just any container will do. Rodents, roaches, and ants can easily sniff out food stored in poorly sealed bags. In particular, rats and cockroaches are remarkable chewers and can gnaw their way through thin plastic.
Instead of relying on Ziploc bags, opt for airtight glass or BPA-free plastic containers. Clear containers are ideal because many bugs prefer eating and dwelling in darkness.
Tip #2: Don’t wait to wash your dishes.
We’ve all been guilty of leaving dishes to “soak” (à la Jim from The Office). While sometimes it’s necessary to soak a crusty casserole dish for 30 minutes or so, generally, the longer you leave dirty dishes in the sink, the more likely the smells and food remnants will attract pests, such as ants, cockroaches, fruit flies, and maggots. What's more, dirty dishes can quickly accumulate bacteria and mold, which, in turn, contaminate your kitchen surfaces and indoor air.
Tip #3: Don’t wait to take out the trash.
This is another one we’ve all been guilty of: no one likes taking out the trash. However, it’s much more pleasant to remove garbage from your home than to discover a pest infestation. After all, pests typically won’t stop at your trash and can easily move on to the food in your pantry.
Tip #4: Vacuum, mop, or sweep your kitchen weekly.
Try as you might, crumbs inevitably will end up on your kitchen floor. These can be enticing meals for ants, cockroaches, and rodents. Eliminate that source of temptation by cleaning your kitchen floor at least once a week.
Tip #5: Protect your pet’s food like it was your own.
Many pet owners encounter pest infestation problems because they will leave their pet's food out for the entire day. While your pet might enjoy grazing from its dish when the mood strikes, exposed pet food is an open invitation for pests to come over and chow down. It's best to keep your pet's food stored in a clear, airtight container (just like your food) and only serve it at mealtimes.
Tip #6: Dispose of overripe fruit outside.
Sometimes fresh fruit can ripen more quickly than we anticipate. When that happens, you'll start to notice flies in your kitchen. Before consuming fruit that may be overripe, check for fruit fly eggs. They will be yellow and have a shape similar to a grain of rice. If the fruit has eggs or is too ripe for you to enjoy, throw it away in your outdoor garbage can to prevent the eggs from hatching inside your home.
Tip #7: Launder your bedding weekly.
Without regular laundering, bed linens accumulate a variety of disgusting material that just might keep you up at night, including dead skin cells, sweat, saliva, skin oils, and even fecal matter. This accumulation can result in fungi and bacteria growth, as well as a dust mite infestation.
Dust mites survive on the dead skin you shed, and your bed provides this, plus the warm, dark environment they like best. WebMD reports that about 20 million Americans are allergic to these tiny pests and suffer from symptoms like itchy eyes, nasal decongestion, and sneezing. You can kill dust mites in your bedding by washing it in water that’s at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit. If your bedding can’t be washed at that temperature, run it in the dryer for a minimum of 15 minutes at 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tip #8: Install window and door screens.
Adequate ventilation is an essential part of keeping your home's air healthy. It lets fresh air in and provides your home with a way to "breathe out" indoor contaminants like VOCs and carbon monoxide. Additionally, the EPA and disease control experts recommend improving ventilation while following CDC guidelines to help prevent the spread of contagions like COVID-19.
The easiest way to ventilate your home is by opening windows and doors to create a cross breeze. However, doing this can let in all kinds of bugs, including mosquitoes. The solution is simple: install sturdy screens on your windows and doors. If you already have screens, check them routinely for gaps or tears.
At Greenix Pest Control, we believe in delivering our customers more than a quick pest control treatment. Our solutions offer customers security and peace of mind while upholding our commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help your house feel like home again: (888) 800-7181.