Cleaning & Organizing
The best way to control pests in your house? Don’t make it enticing for them to live there. Use this list to help you reduce the odds that bugs move into your space.
Put washing dishes on the top of your to-do list if you’re passionate about being pest free. “You might want to think twice about waiting until the morning to do the dishes,” says Brad Smith, president of Preferred Pest Control. “Insect pests such as flies, ants, and cockroaches are highly attracted to leftover food on dishes.” Try these tips to bug-proof your kitchen.
Dampness attracts pests of many different types. “We need water in our everyday lives, but so do the pests,” says Cherie Hartzer, an entomologist for Orkin. “Even small amounts dripping from an air conditioner unit may attract wasps that are foraging for water. Water that has soaked into wood is attractive to termites. Downspouts and gutters that are holding water can be perfect habitats for mosquitoes. A dripping faucet may attract rodents, especially if it has been dry and there aren’t other water sources around.” The cure? Regular maintenance that fixes any leaks that could provide a water source.
When the weather turns cold outside, many bugs look for a cozy winter home—and your place may just be the perfect spot. “Pests like stink bugs and lady beetles are just looking for a protected spot to wait out the winter and your home fits the bill,” Hartzer says. Check out these 13 secrets about common household pests.
Birds can’t resist it—and neither can bugs. “Moths that feed on grains are a very common type of insect that invades homes,” Smith says. “The Indian Meal Moth’s favorite food is bird seed. A homeowner inadvertently brings them into their home by purchasing a bag of birdseed that is infested, and within a few weeks, a home can become infested with moth larvae and adults. To avoid an infestation, carefully check over a bird seed bag for moth larvae, adults, and webbing before buying—and then keep it stored in a tightly sealed plastic bin to avoid attracting animals.