Last Updated on
While there are some insects that are beneficial for your garden, there are many that are a nuisance and some that can even prove dangerous for you, your family and your home. Here are ten tips that you can use around your home to help keep your family and your home safe from mosquitoes, ticks, cockroaches and other invading insects.
1. Stack Wood Away from the Home
There are a variety of insects that like to hide themselves in old dry wood. Some of these are insects that eat wood like termites or the wood boring beetle. When you stack the woodpile next to your home, the insects will move onto your home when they are finished with the wood in the pile. Be sure to stack the woodpile neatly, because ticks and other insects like to hide in the wood. You should check the woodpile regularly since some stinging insects may create a hive in or around the wood.
If possible, you should store the firewood off of the ground outside. You can create a firewood area with concrete blocks or firewood grates. Try to create a system that allows you to rotate the wood so that you are using the oldest wood first and rotating through it quickly.
2. Take Care of the Trash
Another important step is to take care of the trash. Insects may wander inside of your home in search of food and your indoor trash can serve as an easy and ready meal to eat. An easy defense in your home is to take out the trash each night. If you do this, you will decrease the chances of having an insect problem. Be sure that there is no food trash hidden in a child’s bedroom or in the family room of the home.
Address your trash issues outside. Do not store your trash cans right next to your home. Be sure that each of the lids fit tightly so that insects cannot get in and out of the trash can. This will stop you from dealing with a large insect problem or attracting many ants into your home.
3. Consider Exterior Treatment Options
Another way to protect your yard and home from pests to have exterior barrier spray treatments applied around your home on a regular basis. These create barriers that will keep pests like ants and cockroaches out. The barrier spray concept can also be applied to your yard and can be used to stop mosquitoes, fleas and ticks from being a problem in your yard. A professional exterminator will know the safest and best options available for your family.
4. Check the Exterior of Your Home
Complete regular inspections of the exterior of your home to make sure that pests do not have a way to come in. If you look at the foundation of your home, you do not want to see mud tubes leading up to the base of your home. This is a sign of termites. Check to make sure that grates are installed over any vents or other openings in your home.
5. Check the Pipes in Your Home
Insects are always looking for moisture and if you have a leaky pipe, it can weaken the wood around it. The weakened wood is easier for termites to chew through, as well as bigger pests like rats and mice. If you find signs of leaking pipes repair them. Additionally, you will need to repair and replace any damaged wood to keep the pests outside.
6. Trim Back Your Tree Limbs and Shrubbery
Many pests find their way into your home by crawling onto overhanging limbs and dropping onto your roof. Rodents, cockroaches and termites may all enter your home this way. If you have branches that hang directly over your roof or touch it, then you should have them trimmed back. You can do this yourself, but it can be dangerous and a professional tree trimmer can do it safely without damaging your roof. It is also important to trim back and shrubbery and bushes so that there is space between them and your home. Insects like termites and ants can use these plants to find their way into your home.
7. Address Standing Water Outside of Your Home
If you have drainage issues in your yard or flower pots that collect water, it is important to address these issues. It is important to empty any containers that have standing water in them at least once a week. Mosquitoes can breed in a very small amount of water, and you want to stop mosquitoes before they breed. The CDC also recommends emptying any flower pots or vases that you have in your home since they can also breed mosquitoes. Mosquito Control experts have said that mosquitoes can breed an area as small as a bottle cap, so be very thorough when eliminating any standing water.
8. Choose Pressure Treated Wood for Home Projects
Pressure-treated wood can protect your home from termites. If you are adding a deck or fence to your back yard, you should use pressure treated wood to stop termites from feeding on it. If the deck is attached to your home, the termites may eat their way up and through it into your home. If you are completing renovation projects in your home or finishing your basement, pressure treated wood can protect your home from termites and rot as well. Spending a bit more now can save you a lot of money of repairs in the future.
9. Get Your Home Inspected
Most exterminators will offer annual termite inspections for free. It is a good idea to have these inspections done since the sooner you catch any termite damage, the easier it is for you to repair. They may even be able to spot termite damage in your yard before it reaches your home and then apply the treatment and save you money in repairs.
10. Keep Up with Your Yardwork
Leaf litter can be home to ticks, fleas and provide a place for mosquitoes to rest. If you keep your yard neat and tidy with the lawn trimmed short, you decrease the places for the bugs to stay. Clean out and remove all of the leaves in your yard each year. Be sure to trim back the bushes so that the ground under them can dry completely. Creating a barrier of cedar chips or gravel around the perimeter of your yard can also stop those insects from crawling into your yard.
Author bio: Miriam Caldwell graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English. She has been working as a freelance writer since 2005 and has written on a wide variety of topics ranging from personal finances, home care, parenting, WordPress, gardening to pest control. She also teaches writing and enjoys helping others learn something new.