My House is Clean… So Why Do I Have Pests?
Myth – A Clean House Means No Pests
While keeping your house free of clutter, left-over food/crumbs, or general messes definitely helps to prevent most pest problems, not all pests are drawn to these conditions. Pests such as termites, carpenter ants, and carpenter bees are drawn to the wooden fixtures of your home, which has nothing to do with messiness. Similarly, rodents may be drawn to the basic warmth and shelter of your home as opposed to a mess. There are a variety of reasons you may actually be facing pest problems with a clean home. Here are the top 5 that we typically see at Pointe:
While your house may be spotless, if you have pets, they may be causing an increase in pest problems. Both dogs and cats have the potential to bring in fleas or ticks. Dog doors also can have gaps that allow in a variety of pests and any pet food that is left out for free feeding is a huge attractant for rodents and insects alike. Luckily, pets can sometimes also be a deterrent for pests, especially rodents, so the best thing to do of course isn’t to remove your pet from your home. Rather, it is important to be vigilant about any potential pests on your pets; make sure any pet doors are properly sealed; and that pet food is consistently cleaned up, stored in airtight containers, and not left out 24/7.
Over the last 50 years, bed bugs have significantly spiked in population and begun to spread at increasing rates. Nowadays, one fifth of Americans either knows someone who has dealt with bedbugs or has had a bedbug invasion in their own home – making it the most prevalent spreading infestation in the United States today. This is due to the fact that these parasitic pests hitchhike to spread from place to place. Due to their miniscule size and shape, they are able to climb into luggage, purses, backpacks, boxes, clothing, furniture, and more, to move from place to place. Similarly, adolescent cockroaches (known as nymphs) can utilize this same method of transport to reach new areas.
The best thing you can do to avoid this is to be vigilant about the places you travel, check your luggage as you unpack it, and even examine any pre-owned furniture before bringing it into your home.
3. Kitchen Pantries
Even organized pantries can attract pests. If food is not sealed properly sealed, it can be attracting both rodents and insects. Even if your food is stored up high, it is not a deterrent for hungry pests. We recommend transferring any food not fully sealed into airtight containers. Not only will these containers stop food from attracting pests, but they provide an extra defense against any pests that may happen to still make it into your pantry.
4. Dirty Trash Cans
Taking your garbage out regularly and moving garbage bins away from the side of your home are fantastic ways to help prevent pests. Most clean homes adhere to a regular garbage disposal schedule however, so this is rarely a problem. What is sometimes neglected though is the cleanliness of the garbage cans themselves. Over time, it is very common for garbage to leak or overflow from their bags into their plastic containers. When left to fester, this sticky mess can be a huge attraction for pests. By simply checking your bins to make sure they are clear of debris and mess, and periodically cleaning your cans when there is waste, you can greatly reduce your risk of attracting pests.
5. Cracks and Crevices
Rats can squeeze through holes as small as a quarter, adolescent mice can squeeze into holes as small as a pencil eraser, and insects can utilize tiny cracks to wriggle their way into your life. So, while your home may be very clean and free of any large gaps and crevices, miniscule cracks around your foundation, windows, doors, and roof can still be allowing pests in. Inspecting areas where you see pest activity and covering up any potential access points can greatly help reduce your risk of an infestation. Likewise, securing your windows and doors by installing door sweeps and weatherstripping can stop pests in their tracks. (Also, as a bonus, in addition to protecting your home against pests, this can also help with weatherproofing).
Staying Both Clean and Pest Free
So, while cleanliness is still extremely helpful for general pest prevention, it is not a sure-fire preventative measure. If you find yourself still at the mercy of pests, it’s time to seek professional assistance. We will help you secure your home against these unwelcome invaders.