Creepy House Invaders

Does your home have a pest problem?

Bats in your belfy? Mice in your walls? Spiders webs in every corner? You may see some pretty obvious signs of unwanted critters….and……you may not. Some pests live quietly in your home, slowly destroying your electrical wires, spreading disease, and pooping in your attic. Others make lots of noise, cause serious damage to your home over time, and have lots of babies. And some are just, annoying (box elder bugs)!

I see quite a bit of destruction from common household pests when I attend my client’s home inspections. Much of what inspectors and myself see could be avoided with routine home maintenance, awareness, and some basic prevention measures.

The best way to prevent damage or serious infestations is to check your home on a monthly (quarterly at minimum) basis. Take a peek in your attic and basement. Look around the edges of the garage. If you have identified recents signs of unwanted roommates, act immediately.

  1. Understand what is attracting pests in the first place. Do you have food, piles of clutter, garbage that isn’t in containers, or piles of damp wood left out that attract ants, mice and the like? Elminite the source of attraction right away.
  2. Identify points of entry and then seal them up. How are they getting into your home? Seal up cracks and gaps. The majority of these cracks and gaps can be fixed up with your own two hands and a tube of caulk.
  3. Keep your yard well maintained. Keep trees and shrubs trimmed and away from your home. Don’t leave piles of wood or leaves near the home. Make sure water drains away from the house.
  4. This one goes without saying and is also easier said than done (got teenagers? goooood luuuuccckkk!) but…a clean and clutter-free home is absolutely essential in the quest to be pest-free. Keep your house clean, people!
  5. Be sure you have screens on your windows and you aren’t leaving doors open so little furry friends can walk right on in.
  6. If you discover an active pest situation, deal with it immediately. There are many simple remedies for common pests available at your local hardware store, Target, Walmart, Home Depot, etc.

I’m embarrassed to share this BUT….last fall my kids kept telling me they could hear little scurries in the walls. I didn’t believe them until my husband set a homemade mouse trap and in one night we caught NINE mice in our daughter’s bedroom. I was on a crusade after that…we found a total of 22 (22!!!) mice in the house over the course of a week. My husband sealed up all the little cracks that they could get into the house and we finally we able to get them all out.

Check out this interesting interactive website : Pest in the House: Common Household Bugs Identifier

Well, it’s almost mosquito season so….time to start preparing for the invasion. Sigh…..

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