You hear scratching in the walls or wake up to find yourself face to face with an eight-legged horror. Mice, spiders, and other household pests are an unfortunate reality for most homeowners. However, these critters can be hazardous to your health and a huge embarrassment if you’re expecting guests. Here are a few of the most common pests and how to keep them where they belong, which is anywhere but your house.
Whether you think they’re cute and cuddly or creepy and crawly, having mice in your home is not something you want. Not only do these buck-toothed little beasts chew through your boxes, cords, and carpets, but their waste can transmit potentially life-threatening diseases. It is exponentially difficult to get rid of mice on your own, especially if you do not know where they are coming from. Mice are smaller than they look, and can get in through even the tiniest opening. If you notice signs of mice, don’t wait and hope that they will go away. They won’t. Find a professional mice exterminator to issue (and expedite) their official eviction notice.
There are very few venomous spiders that pose a threat to humans in the United States. But that does not mean you want to share your space with an arachnid companion. The best way to prevent a spider infestation is to stop them before they enter. This starts by eliminating shrubs and clutter from around the outside of the house. A good rule of thumb is that anything that touches the exterior wall is an open invitation. You can also set spider traps and spray a quality commercial spider repellent.
There are several types of ants that live in the US. While the little black ants you see building mounds near your sidewalk aren’t really a problem, carpenter ants are. Carpenter ants, according to Cooper Pest Solutions, are relatively large and chew through wood, hence the name. Another concern with ants of all varieties is that they can bring bacteria, including Staphylococcus, in from the outdoors and track it all over your kitchen counters. Getting rid of ants takes work and involves sealing any potential point of entry. You have to be diligent when cleaning your kitchen and dining room, as even tiny crumbs can attract an army of ants.
The most pressing concern with the standard housefly is that there is a good chance it landed on something dead in its recent history. Flies can transmit bacteria from everything from dog feces to trash. One dangerous germ flies can carry is salmonella typhi bacteria, which causes typhoid fever. Nearly 400 cases of the disease are reported each year. If you only have a few and, it’s likely that they’ve snuck in through a window or door that’s ajar, now’s the time to grab the flyswatter. However, if you see more than five, it’s likely you have a sanitation issue. Things like an open trash can lid, excess moisture, and unattended pet food can all encourage flies.
If you have pets, fleas are another issue that you have to worry about. And when you have company coming, fleas are about the last thing you want to deal with. There is not an easy or quick way to rid yourself of a flea infestation. However, a pest control company may be able to do it in one or two visits. Once the problem is under control, you will need to ensure that your pet is on a flea prevention medicine. There are four types of preemptive treatment. These include flea collars, topical repellents, shampoos, and oral tablets or chews. Talk to your veterinarian to find out which is best for your cat or dog.
Bugs and rodents can’t be eliminated entirely. But you can protect yourself and your family. The most effective way to reduce your chances of being visited by unwanted pests is to keep your home clean, invest in regular pest control, and eliminate their access.