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Those''Pest-y''Household Issues

All your household repairs are complete, and the rooms have been freshly painted. The house looks great. But just when you think you've earned some time to relax, you've got guests. . . Of the creeping, crawling, buzzing variety, that is. It's enough to give any homeowner a headache, but it is possible to take control of the situation. Here's how to rid your home of flies, fleas, and the creatures in between.
  1. Ants. When getting rid of ants, it's important to destroy the entire colony. Locate their point of entry to your house by laying caulking in walls and baseboards. Next, lay an ant-repellant gel product on the floor; the ants will track the substance back to their colony.

    Certain kinds of ants, like carpenter ants, can cause structural damage in houses, so inspect crawlspaces to see if the wood appears weak. Different ant types live in different regions of the country, and it's helpful to know the breed so that you can determine the most effective solution for eliminating them.
  2. Fleas. Where there are fleas, there are pets. Fleas lay their eggs (up to 50 a day) on pets, and the eggs drop onto the floor and hatch - making your life itchy and irritating!

    Ridding your home of fleas can be a costly - but necessary - process. The pet must be shampooed with a flea-prevention product. Next, any pet bedding must be destroyed.

    When preparing your home for debugging, it's important to vacuum thoroughly, which destroys many eggs. Insecticides are almost always necessary when getting rid of fleas. During the process, which can take several hours, the pet and all family members should leave the premises to avoid inhaling any fumes.
  3. Fruit Flies. Fruit flies are, true to their name, attracted to rotten fruit and vegetables. They also breed in garbage disposals and mops.

    The best way to get rid of fruit flies is to eliminate the sources of attraction; throw out fruit once it starts to go bad. Once you've located the breeding sites of fruit flies, you can use an aerosol insecticide or bait.

    For do it yourself pest control, trap fruit flies in a homemade, funnel-covered jar containing something sweet to lure them.
  4. Mice: Mice are nocturnal creatures, so you probably won't actually see them; you'll just hear them scurrying around. Fortunately, dealing with mice is generally inexpensive.

    Proof your house by checking for open holes, and then seal any openings. Put traps down along walls and in any secluded areas where mouse droppings are present.

    Most mice travel less than 20 feet from their nests on a given day, so make sure to lay your traps strategically.

Above all, think preemptively and thoroughly. Even if you haven't noticed any infestations of rodents and insects, it's a good idea to have your home inspected semiannually by a professional pest control expert. Companies like Terminix offer FREE pest evaluations.

Always be vigilant for open holes and parts of flooring that have open spaces; these provide the perfect areas for creature nest-building. And search your kitchen cupboards to ensure that there aren't open bags of food, trails of sugar on the counter, and leftover crumbs.

When you ignore possible infestations, you open yourself and your family up to the risk of disease, food contamination, bacteria, structural damage to your house, and much more.
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