A 2021 study revealed that nearly 14.8 million US households had a mouse or rat sighting in the last 12 months. That's on top of the 14 million households that encountered roaches indoors. Don't let your Port St. Lucie home fall victim to pests.
Those figures prove how prevalent pest infestations are. Even worse is that pests are harder to eliminate once they've infested your Port St. Lucie home.
Thus, your priority should be to prevent invasions in the first place. You have a much better chance of having a pest-free home when you think and act preventatively.
To that end, we rounded up the top pest control tips and preventive tactics to keep these critters out. Read on to discover our best advice for keeping a pest-free house.
1. Keep the Fridge and Stove Crumb-Free
Many animals have specific senses that exceed the performance of human sensory organs. For instance, scientists estimate that mice have around 10 million olfactory sensory neurons. Those neurons, in turn, allow them to analyze the air for smells, including food odors.
That's why keeping your appliances free of food debris can help keep mice and other pests out of your home. So, always make sure to remove crumbs underneath the refrigerator and stove burners.
While you're at it, clean the stove (and oven!) with some soapy water to remove food residue and splatters. Rinse with plain water and wipe dry with a lint-free cloth to avoid water stains.
2. Store Leftovers in Sealed Containers
Ants may not be the most incredible cooks, but they love leftovers. They also have excellent smelling power that outperforms that of other insects. Experts say that's due to them having four to five times more odor receptors than most other insects.
Thus, be sure to store your food in airtight containers like Tupperware or jars with secure lids. Doing so can help keep these household pests from smelling your food and entering your home. In addition, keeping them out helps protect you from painful ant bites and stings.
3. Thoroughly Inspect Dried Food Packages
Did you know that it's possible to bring home a pest without even knowing it? Pantry pests, including beetles, moths, and worms, are perfect examples. These insects infest stored dried foods, such as flours and cereals.
So, as part of your pest prevention tactics, inspect food packages before buying them.
First, look for tiny holes in the packaging itself. If you're buying dried goods stored in clear plastic or wax paper, check for signs of live and dead insects. Webbing, wherein flour appears entangled in a cobweb, also signals an infestation.
If you notice any of those signs, don't buy the products. Instead, report them to the store's management team.
4. Commit to Regular Cleaning of Surfaces
The kitchen houses some of the germiest spots in a typical home. These include countertops and sinks, harboring disease-causing bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella.
That's enough reason to clean these surfaces, along with tabletops and floors, at least once a day. Experts even recommend daily disinfection of countertops.
More than that, cleaning all those surfaces regularly also helps in pest prevention. After all, doing so removes spilled food and drinks and their smells that attract pests.
5. De-Clutter Your Home
Pests love to play hide and seek. They often like to hide in stacks of newspapers, magazines, or dusty piles of mail. They also use these materials to create nests for breeding and reproduction.
For that reason, you'd want to remove and dispose of such clutter from your home. Besides, they're only accumulating dust and taking up precious space in your home.
Speaking of dust, don't forget that it also attracts mites. That's because house dust can contain dead skin cells. Dust mites, in turn, feed on these shed skin cells.
6. Inspect Potential Hiding Places
Pests always look for the best real estate, including dark and damp areas. Clutter in these places makes it even worse, as it provides more spaces for the critters to camp out.
Attics, basements, and crawlspaces, in turn, are perfect examples of such hiding spots. If you haven't checked them recently, now's the best time. If possible, remove whatever you don't need and give the rooms a deep-cleaning job, too.
7. Check Four-Legged Friends for Fleas
The Sunshine State is home to 19 flea species, including cat fleas, dog fleas, and sticktight fleas. These blood-suckers prefer moist environments, which is why they're pretty pervasive in Florida.
What's more, once fleas are indoors, they can quickly spread. That's because they reproduce fast, making flea control difficult without professional help.
So, make it a habit to check your four-legged friends for fleas as often as possible. It's also best to comb your pets for fleas before they enter your home after playing outside.
8. Mow Your Lawn
Fleas that haven't attached to a host love to hide in shady spots, such as tall grasses. From there, they can leap onto a host, such as your pets and yourself.
As such, it's best to keep your lawn grass short, as this helps reduce the number of places where fleas can hide.
9. Use Seal-Tight Pet Food Containers
Pet food can become pest food, just like how human food does. After all, they emit odors that attract vermin, such as rodents and ants. Besides, if they can nourish your four-legged friends, they can also nourish pests.
Therefore, it's vital to store pet food in seal-tight containers. Keep your beloved animal companions' food indoors, too.
10. Seal Entry Points
Inspect your home for damages such as cracks or holes in the foundation, walls, and vents. If you find any, fill or seal them as soon as possible to prevent termites, roaches, and other pests.
Make sure to check window screens for holes, too. Then, have damaged ones repaired or replaced immediately. Otherwise, pesky, even disease-causing insects like flies and mosquitoes can infiltrate your home.
11. Trim Trees and Shrubs
Rodents can directly transmit over ten different diseases to humans and other animals. These include leptospirosis, Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, and plague, to name a few.
In any case, rodents can enter your home by climbing trees and then jumping onto your roof. They are excellent climbers, thanks to their super-sharp phalanges (fingers).
So, one way to keep roof rats and other rodents out is to take down the bridge between your house and the outdoors. Always trim down branches and shrubbery that come in contact with the outside of your home. There should be a gap of no less than two yards from the closest tree branch to your roof.
12. Don't Let Water Accumulate Outdoors
Florida is a haven for mosquitoes; at least 80 species call the Sunshine State home. Many of these blood-sucking insects, after all, prefer warm and wet environments.
Mosquitoes also like wet places as they lay eggs directly on or nearby water.
That's why one of the best ways to prevent and control mosquitoes is to remove standing water sources. These include children's toys, kiddie pools, or empty pots left outdoors. It's also best to rinse and replace the water in birdbaths and pet water stations once a day.
13. Inspect Gutters for Standing Water
Gutters are hollow since their chief purpose is to collect rainwater from the roof. From there, they divert the collected water to the ground through a downspout.
Unfortunately, it's also because of their design that they're prone to debris build-up. When that happens, the downspouts can also get clogged. Ultimately, that can lead to water pooling in the gutters, giving pests a place to breed.
With that said, make it a habit to inspect and clean your gutters twice a year, or if you can, once every season. Do this more often if you have numerous trees surrounding your property.
14. Secure Trash Cans With Tight Lids
The decaying matter in trash cans can serve as a pest's next source of nutrition, or in some cases, even their home. For example, roaches feed on dead or decomposing organic materials. On the other hand, rodents like to feast on almost anything, so long as it's nourishing.
That's why it's a must to keep a tight lid on your trash can at all times. It's also wise to give your bins a good cleaning at least once a month.
15. Rinse Before You Dispose of Containers
Be sure to rinse out all containers that you put into recycling bins. They should have no visible residue or sticky stuff (such as jelly or honey) clinging to them.
You don't have to soap them up; you only have to fill them with water and swish the liquid around. That should remove most traces of food in them.
It's crucial to rinse containers for recycling as it helps make them less attractive to pests. It also ensures no food spills or leaks out of them or the bins themselves.
Follow These Port St. Lucie Pest Control Tips Today
Please remember that pests not only cause damage but can also transmit diseases. Rodents can even cause fires; experts say they might be behind 25% of fires with unknown causes.
All that should be enough reason to follow our pest control tips and preventive tactics ASAP.
What if you have an ongoing infestation, though?
In that case, we here at Southeast Florida Pest Control can help. We provide professional pest control in Port St. Lucie and nearby locations. Check out our service areas and call us for effective and safe pest control service.