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Pest Controls that Keep Bugs at Bay

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There are simple pest controls around that will keep insects away from your home. With a little cagey planning, you can create a barrier between you and biting bugs without having to make a big production of it.

Pest Controls that Protect Your Home from Bugs

Watch the perimeter. Keeping an eagle eye out for pests is one way to catch infestations before they become big problems:

  • Eliminate standing water in your landscape by emptying buckets and draining stagnant pools and ponds.
  • Observe your lawn and flowerbeds for mounds that mean ants have moved in.
  • Check your walls, eaves and decks for wasp, bee and mud dauber nests.
  • Inspect your foundation for small mud tubes, a common sign of termite activity.

Protect your landscape. To make your home less attractive to termites, ants, flies and wasps:

  • Dispose of windfall branches on your property, and keep stockpiled wood at least 20 feet from wooden structures.
  • Keep shrubs and vines at least a foot from structures and well away from doors and windows.
  • Eliminate sources of dampness that can become nesting places for pests.
  • Remove dead shrubs and trees, and rake leaves regularly.
  • Maintain composting facilities at least 20 feet from your home.
  • Place garbage cans away from entrances.
  • Avoid wood mulch in flowerbeds near your home's foundation. Recycled non-wood mulch products work as well as wood mulch, but aren't as attractive to insects and rodents.
  • Bag and seal garbage to minimize odor and leakage.

Safeguard your home. Your home is warm in winter and cool in summer. It also contains a vast storehouse of food (to a bug, anyway). That makes it a palace to any insect looking for lodging and a meal. There are some important things you can do to bug proof your home:

  • Fill cracks in your floors, baseboards, built-in cabinets and plumbing.
  • Patch or replace torn window screens.
  • Bag your indoor garbage.
  • Sweep and vacuum your floors regularly.
  • Clean up spills immediately.
  • Clean your: trash compactor, garbage disposal, oven, refrigerator, and dishwasher, to eliminate odors.
  • Inspect foodstuffs like flour and whole grains regularly for insect activity.
  • Inspect produce and houseplants for insects before bringing them indoors.
  • Be aware of your surroundings when you're out to avoid bringing home hitchhiking bedbugs. When you do get home, hang outerwear, like coats, away from bedrooms.
  • When you return from traveling, leave luggage in your garage or mudroom until you've had a chance to inspect it thoroughly. Bedbugs love to hide in the seams of luggage and even shoes.

Employing a few common sense pest controls will limit your exposure to annoying and potentially expensive bug infestations. If you see more than a few bugs, though, or think you may have a bedbug or termite problem, contact a pest professional. The longer a pest colony stays in your home, the more difficult it will be to eliminate. The pros have access to targeted chemical preparations that will destroy the bugs you can see as well as the ones hiding elsewhere in your home.

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