Ever since humans started settling into cities and towns, pest control management has been around. Born of the need to keep crops free from harmful pests, chemical pesticides were first used 4,500 years ago in Sumer. Since then, pest control management and extermination has moved inside. Getting rid of pests in the home is a tricky situation, since chemicals and poisons often used to eliminate insects are also harmful to humans. Local pest control services can help with major infestations, but there are a few steps you can take to control smaller pest problems before you call the pros.
How to Get Rid of Pests in Your Home
The primary tenet to uphold in pest control management is to try to keep pests from entering your home in the first place. This is particularly difficult to do with ants, since they are so tiny and can find plenty of places to enter a house. Use caulk to seal windows, doors and cracks, spread salt under doors and near windows and walls, and make use of scents and substances that ants don’t like. These include vinegar, peppermint oil, cinnamon, black pepper, cayenne pepper, whole cloves, and bay leaves.
Kill ants that have already crossed the threshold by starting at the source. Find where they’re entering and spread a line of vaseline to stop them from following the trail. Then cut off those that are already in the trail by spraying them with all purpose cleaner and wiping them up with a wet paper towel. Then, find the scouts who are wandering alone, looking for food. Squish them before they return to the colony and send friends. The ones who have already set up camp inside can be taken care of with an ant trap or poison.
Bed bugs have a major ick factor and live exactly where you would expect: in mattresses in box springs. They only feed on the blood of humans and other warm blooded hosts and should be eradicated as soon as they are found. If you’ve found bed bug bites, start by spraying the bugs with rubbing alcohol. Use the rubbing alcohol and a dish brush to kill any visible eggs. Affected items should be laundered at a minimum of 120 degrees Farenheit. Also try vacuuming your house and using insecticides before you call a pest control management specialist.
Cockroaches are notoriously difficult to exterminate. They are cold blooded, need much less food than humans do, and can live for weeks without heads. Physical attacks are usually unsuccessful, as they’ve even been known to survive nuclear blasts. The only good news about cockroaches is that they’re easy to spot. You’ll definitely know if you have them and can get started on exterminating them right away. Find where they’re coming from and try using cockroach traps or make “roach food” to kill them by combining one part powdered boric acid, one part white flour, and one part granulated white sugar. Place the mixture in the backs of drawers and cabinets, under the refrigerator, under the stove, and in any other typical roach spots. The sugar baits them, the flour makes them stick, and the boric acid kills them. Expect at least three cycles of returning hordes of cockroaches lasting about two weeks each before they disappear.
When All Else Fails…
Though all of these pest control management techniques have been known to be effective, sometimes it takes a professional to really take care of an infestation. If you’ve tried everything to no avail, don’t hesitate to call a specialist and get it taken care of once and for all. More can be found here.
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