Common Household Pests And Why You Should Get Rid of Them
Dealing with the occasional standoff with nature is an essential duty of a homeowner; no matter where you live, chances are good that some type of animal or creature will find your house cozy for the same reasons you do. However, it is important that you take care of the problem sooner rather than later, as problems with household pests tend to get exponentially worse in a short amount of time when left unattended.
To further complicate matters, animals (and especially wild ones) can serve as dangerous vectors for disease. In addition to any diseases that they themselves may harbor, they may bring with them a variety of bugs or parasites that carry their own cocktails of disease. Pair this with a likelihood that unwelcome animal invaders are also likely causing structural damage to your home, and you have abundant incentive to get rid of the problem quickly and entirely.
Below, we will go through common pests and what you can do to get them out of your house.
While they may be timid creatures in some circumstances, squirrels can get brazen in the presence of humans. In urban areas or other places where people regularly feed the creatures, they can become desensitized to the presence of people and start to infringe on personal space. This becomes a problem when the personal space is your home.
While squirrels generally don’t carry a reputation for attacking humans, that doesn’t mean they can’t cause harm. In fact, research has found they can harbor leprosy bacteria, which can be transmitted to humans. Diseases like these can be spread by way of squirrel feces.
SIgns of a squirrel infestation may include the characteristic pitter-patter of feet, as well as vocalizations and scraping. They often take up residence in attics if they provide easy access and shelter – especially if any trees or shrubs are within jumping distance.
To minimize chances of squirrel infestation, either trim or get rid of any trees that are close enough to the house to provide access. You also want to seal all points of entry except for one as this will simplify the puzzle of getting them out. Use materials that they cannot chew through to seal holes, like steel plates, caulk, or aluminum. Pay attention to their daily patterns and only seal the final hole when you are sure they are all out of the house.back to menu ↑
Of the some 4,000 known species of termites, approximately 10% are known to cause serious structural damage to property. While they are considered an important part of material recycling in nature, their daily routine is understandably far less welcome within the context of a house. Once they have entered a building, their diet is not exclusively limited to wood; they have also been known to make a meal of carpets, cloth, and other cellulose-laden material.
Termites have an uncanny ability to remain concealed while they are gnawing away at vital structures, allowing the problem to continue unabated unless the situation is assessed thoroughly. Sagging floors, hollow wood, and subterranean tunnels are signs of the presence of termites. Damage can be approximated by probing with a screwdriver or knife. Points of concern include the foundation, especially where wood meets the soil.
To remove termites, first you should remove any easy sources of food. This may include old firewood or some other unattended source of cellulose. Any lumber, wood, or even paper needs to be disposed of or otherwise moved away from the house. Sometimes, homeowners opt to install a barrier around the home. Sandy soil can also slow down termites, while certain fungi, nematodes, or plant matter can be utilized to deter a termite colony.
If opting for a chemical pesticide approach, make sure the job is done properly as these substances can seep into water systems, which renders the treatment ineffective and poses a risk to human inhabitants.back to menu ↑
Ants become a problem for many households in the spring and summer months. The chances of them being attracted to your house increase dramatically if there are food sources that are readily accessible. These insects are particularly attracted to sugar and grease, which means a need for increased cleanliness in the kitchen in warmer parts of the year. Getting rid of trash as soon as possible is optimal as well. Sources of moisture are also attractive propositions, so bathrooms may also be subject to an ant invasion even without food present.
Getting rid of ants often involves the use of bait. Vinegar, lemon juice, peppermint oil, and coffee grounds have been used to effectively ward off these pests. Research shows that water-resistant bait is more effective since normal baits may break down when wet. Seaweed has also been used as the basis for an inexpensive, biodegradable ant bait.