The holidays should be a joyful time, giving a chance to reconnect with friends and family. But they can also be extremely stressful, especially if unwanted guests like, Ants, Spiders, Pantry Pests or Rats decide to make a holiday appearance at your home. If one of these pests is adding to your holiday stress, here are some tips on how to un-invite them and send them packing.
- Practice good sanitation measures especially in the kitchen. Ants are attracted to the food we leave behind.
- Cover food and liquid substances tightly and keep surfaces clean.
- Sweep floors and vacuum your carpets. The tiniest crumbs can attract ants.
- Always cover and seal the food that’s not in the fridge.
- Do not leave dirty dishes in the sink.
- Keep trash cans and bins clean and take the trash out often.
- Keep your countertops dry. Don’t allow liquids to accumulate on counters and other surfaces. Ants look for water wherever they can find it.
- Fix dripping faucets.
- Vacuum up spiders, egg cases, and webs. Use the crevice tool to get into all cracks and crevices. Your vacuum is your most effective spider-control tool!
- Remove clutter and control humidity in attics, basements, and other dark areas. Seal stored boxes with tape or use plastic storage boxes with tight-sealing lids.
- Spiders generally enter homes through cracks and crevices around the foundation, or doors and windows. Install door sweeps. Seal or caulk entry points and make sure windows and doors fit tightly.
- The use of pesticides indoors may help control other insects that spiders feed on, but they don’t provide long-term spider control.
- Don’t put exposed food on shelves. Place it in containers with tight-fitting lids; plastic bags aren’t adequate.
- Regularly clean shelves, bins, and all other locations where there is any possibility of flour or other food particles accumulating. Certain pests need only small amounts of food to live and breed. Soap and water are great for cleaning flat areas, and vacuuming with a crevice attachment will help clean cracks, edges, and corners.
- Don’t mix old and new lots of foodstuffs. If the old material is infested, the pest will quickly invade the new.
- Clean old containers before filling them with fresh food. They may be contaminated and cause a new infestation.
- Don’t purchase broken or damaged packages of food materials. They are more likely to become infested.
- Construct storage containers so that they are tight and can be easily cleaned.
- Store bulk materials, such as pet foods, in containers with tight-fitting lids.
- Keep storage containers dry. This is important because moisture favors the development of pantry pests, while dryness discourages them.
- Some pantry insects breed in the nests of rodents and insects and may migrate from these into homes. Eliminate any nests found in or near the home.
Rats: To stop rats from invading the inside, they must first be controlled outside.
- Feed pets only the amount of food they will eat at a single feeding or bring food inside at night.
- Keep garbage, trash, and garden debris in receptacles with tight-fitting lids.
- Thin dense vegetation and create at least a 2-foot space between each shrub as well as between shrubs and buildings.
- Thin or remove climbing hedges from buildings.
- Remove tree limbs that are within 3 feet of a roof.
- Seal all cracks and openings in the house’s foundation that are larger than 1/4 inch.
- Make sure doors, windows, and screens fit tightly.
Rat Proofing your home
- Repair or replace damaged ventilation screen around the foundation and under the eaves.
- Provide a tight-fitting cover for the crawl space.
- Seal all openings around pipes, cables, and wires that enter through walls or the foundation.
- Be sure all windows that can be opened are screened and that the screens are in good condition.
- Cover all chimneys with a spark arrester.
- Make sure internal screens on roof and attic air vents are in good repair.
- Cover rooftop plumbing vent pipes in excess of 2 inches in diameter with screens over their tops.
- Make sure all exterior doors are tight fitting and weatherproofed at the bottom.