Pest Control First Steps | Keeping Bugs Out

Let's face it, if you live in Carlsbad New Mexico, you live in the desert. And the desert has some bugs that are either unique to the desert environment or more prolific in it. Like anywhere else, general pest control handles most insects. However, like anywhere else, specialized pest control may be needed for insects that are unique to the area.

Again, effective and lasting insect pest control follows some universal guidelines as well as specific treatments related to location. In Carlsbad, we have things like scorpions, tarantulas, and a few other creepy insects. Good pest control goes beyond simply applying insecticides to kill the invading and visible bugs. While bug killer sprays 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 exterminator 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. The climate here in Carlsbad and Southeast New Mexico is also an influencing factor. Bugs, like us, need shelter from the extremes, food, and water. And your home is a great place to find all three.

* * * While this article is focused on insect control in Carlsbad and Eddy County, these first steps and considerations are universal and also important for eliminating rodents, birds, and other pests in most areas.

First, Keep Pests Out - Exclusion

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.

Places Where Bugs Get In

  • - 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 Service

Whether you plan to do your own pest control or hire an exterminator, the steps outlined above are good advice. Long term management is more than just spraying for bugs. Keeping the bugs out in the first place is much more comfortable. In Carlsbad, Artesia, and all of Eddy County New Mexico, Horizon pest control provides service for a single treatment or scheduled maintenance spray treatments with no contracts. Feel free to give a call today at 575-725-9331.