Keeping pests out of your home

Even the best-kept home attracts pests. Cockroaches, ants, fleas, termites and even mice sneak up on you without you knowing. For serious pest problems, contact a pest control center like Terminix; they have access to systems and techniques that average homeowners do not. For the occasional wayward insect or critter, use these tips to solve the pest problem and keep these invaders out of your home.

Eliminate cockroaches with white vinegar

Apartment buildings in particular are known for harboring cockroaches, and even the cleanest unit will see the occasional roach sneak in. As soon as you see a roach invade your space, begin a habit of wiping down your countertops and tables with a mixture of white vinegar and water before you go to bed. The white vinegar muddles the cockroaches’ sense of smell; finding nothing to smell in your home, they will go elsewhere.

Destroy ants with soapy water

If you see a trail of ants sneaking around your porch or marching one-by-one into your kitchen, it’s time to melt those critters like they were the Wicked Witch of the West. Soapy water actually breaks up ant exoskeletons, killing them instantly. Mix up soap and water in a squirt bottle, or fill up a bucket and dump it on the ant parade.

Prevent flea bites with garlic

Fleas are a problem best solved professionally, but while you’re waiting for the pest control center to arrive, prevent flea bites by taking a garlic pill before bed. Just like vampires, fleas can’t stand garlic; you’ll have a night free of bites and a restful sleep.

When the cat’s away, the mice will play

Getting a cat to prevent mouse infestations is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Cats also reduce stress and help teach children about caretaking and responsibility. Consider adopting an older cat from a shelter. Older cats are already house-trained, know how to handle children and are less likely to destroy furniture or carpets. Don’t be the family who overlooks an older cat in favor of a new kitten; adopt a healthy adult cat and become its forever home.

If you do need to call a pest control service, decide in advance whether you want to use natural chemicals, synthetic chemicals or non-chemical deterrents like traps. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. After the service does its work, continue to practice basic pest maintenance, like always, making sure your kitchen is free of crumbs and plugging up any holes in baseboards or flooring. Every home gets the occasional pest, but with these tips and tricks you can easily send your pests packing!

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