WoodchuckWhether it’s mice, roaches or rats, no one likes finding a critter from the outside living in their attic, basement or walls. Their presence – from annoying to bad for your health – can indicate something is attracting them to your home. In some instances, that could be easily accessible food. In others, your attic or roof has holes that let these pests slip indoors.

In any case, you can get rid of these pests with the following tips.

Change Your Habits

Rethinking how you store food could eliminate the pest problem:

  • Keep all food in sealed containers.
  • Any scraps should be kept in a tightly covered trash can.
  • Trash should be taken out regularly.
  • Fix any leaky plumbing.
  • Never let water accumulate in your home, including under your refrigerator and house plants.
  • Any food and water for your pet should be cleaned up at the end of the day, rather than left out overnight.
  • Remove piles of clutter, as these can look like spots for warmth or finding nesting materials.
  • If you notice cracks and holes to the exterior, caulk them or fill them with steel wool.
  • If you bring anything in from the outside, including boxes or furniture, always examine it for pests first.

Use a Pest Control Kit

If being more mindful of your habits doesn’t do the trick, you might want to purchase an over-the-counter spray, trap or powder designed for pest control. For full effectiveness, purchase kits for both indoor and outdoor use.

Pest control sprays and traps often contain chemicals people and pets shouldn’t ingest. As such:

  • Only use the kits in targeted locations – not over a room or large area.
  • Be careful when using fogging devices.
  • Always follow the directions and safety warnings on the labels.
  • Choose ready-to-use products, rather than something that needs mixing or preparation.
  • If the chemical is designed for the outdoors, never use it inside your home. These chemicals may remain toxic for longer when sprayed indoors.

Get the Professionals Involved

If the above steps do not produce a lasting effect, your home could be dealing with an infestation. Reaching out to a pest control expert may be necessary, especially if you’re dealing with termites, bedbugs or large rodents like raccoons or squirrels. In these instances, the exterminators may make a few trips to your home to find and get rid of all pests. Afterward, they’ll likely provide you with tips for avoiding future infestations.

Many worry that the chemicals used could be harmful to long-term health. Before your appointment, ask the pest control professionals about the substances they plan to use, including the name and EPA number for each and the material data safety sheet. From here, do more research on each chemical, including any side effects or long-term health issues.

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