Effective and lasting insect pest control goes beyond simply applying insecticides to kill the invading and visible bugs. While bug killers will often provide a quick solution to the problem, alone they generally don’t provide a lasting long term solution of prevention.
Usually at the first sighting of bugs, most folks reach for the jug of home defense or the phone to call the local exterminator to simply come spray the home. Again, this is only a temporary solution to insects actually gaining access to your living space.
A good pest control operator or you yourself should also perform a thorough inspection to determine how the pests are gaining access as well as what may be attracting insects. For the most part, this inspection and the steps necessary for long term prevention are generally very simple.
* * * While this article is focused on insect control, these first steps and considerations are also important for eliminating rodents, birds, and other pests.
Creating Exclusion To Keep Pests Out
Regardless of how good of a repellant insecticide is, some bugs may still manage to make it to the foundation of the home and gain access. While most will die due to the residual action of the insecticide, some will survive. At the very least, you may just simply still be seeing dead bugs in the home.
A thorough inspection will help determine areas where these determined survivors are gaining access. And once these areas are identified, it’s generally simple to address them with some minor preventative repairs.
Common Places Where Bugs Gain Access
- - Weather stripping under and around doors – This is actually one of the most common access points. Repair or replace weather stripping
- - Weather stripping around windows – Repair or replace
- - Where pipes and wires enter the home – These can be sealed with caulking, foam insulation, stucco, mortar, paint, or other construction materials. At the very least, they should be dusted with insecticidal dust.
- - Around pipes and drains under sinks – These can also be sealed with some type of construction materials.
- - Heating, cooling, and sewer jacks on the roof – Jacks and flashing should be repaired or replaced.
- - Attic vents – These need to remain open so generally fine wire mesh or screening can be placed on the interior of the vents to prevent insect access.
- - Chimneys – Keep flu closed when not in use.
- - Cracks in exterior walls – Repair and paint.
- - Doggy doors – Make sure they seal correctly
These are just the most common and obvious access points for insect pests. However, depending on the age and individual type of home, there could be more.
Eliminate Insect Food Sources
Insect pests are opportunistic invaders that are in constant search for food. If it’s there, they’ll find it and continue to come. And when they find a good source, they’ll also stay and multiply.
Sanitation and proper storage of food sources is an essential first step in effective pest control.
Keeping a clean living space will often help avoid many types of infestations including cock roach infestations. Sources like grease, spilled sweet juices, spilled sugar and crumbs are favorite foods and should be cleaned up immediately to avoid attracting insects.
Dirty dishes left in the sink for an extended period of time as well as dirty sink drains can also attract many types of insects. Keep dishes washed and put up as well as periodically rinsing out the drains with hot soapy water will help keep things sanitary and eliminate insect issues.
As well, keep trash cans clean and emptied as soon as their full.
Proper Food Storage
Where possible and practical, all dry foods should be transferred to sealed plastic, glass, or metal containers. Foods like cereals, flower, and sugar left in original open containers are just an invitation for insects in search of food.
Fruits, vegetables, and seasonal foods such as green chilies and dried red chilies should be prepared and stored as soon as possible to avoid attracting bugs.
Pet foods should also be kept in plastic or metal containers with lids.
These first steps of exclusion and elimination of food sources should be a part of a complete integrated pest management (IPM) program that includes an insecticidal barrier on both the interior and exterior of the home. With all of these methods in practice, your pest control efforts to keep insects out of your home should be more effective.
Professional Pest Control Services
Performing the steps outlined in this article are generally very simple and economical to do yourself. And while it is standard practice for us to perform an inspection and be observant on all of our pest control visits, we’ll point out problem areas and give free advice on how you can take care of these issues yourself. This can save you a lot of money as opposed to having us or a contractor do it for you.
As well, creating an insecticidal barrier and spraying insecticides can also be effectively done yourself. However, at Horizon, we realize that some folks simply don’t want to mess with it on any level and that many aren’t comfortable with applying chemicals. And of course, that’s what we’re in business for.
For a free inspection, evaluation, and estimate for professional pest control services, please give us a call today at 575-725-9331.