Top 30 Pest Prevention Tips

Pest infestations are definitely annoying, but they can also cause a lot of anxiety and potential damage. Pest infestations can often be difficult to control, due to the shear number of pests involved and extent of the problem. However, as with many things, prevention is often easier than the cure. Indeed, many pest problems can be prevented through good hygiene practices and a bit of home maintenance, even without using pest control products. So here are the top 30 pest prevention tips for inside and outside the home.

Outside

Gardens

Pests are almost always outside trying to get in. Whereas you cannot eliminate pests completely from your yard, you can certainly make the area around and under your home less attractive for pests.

Garden beds adjacent to the house are pest havens. They create lots of places for pests to live and hide (bushes, mulch and soil), with lots of food and moisture. If you create a pest haven right next to your home, it’s perhaps not a surprise when you get a few unwanted visitors inside your home. So here are the tips…

 Plants in pots are "termite smart"

Plants in pots are "termite smart"

1)   Remove garden beds adjacent to the house and replace with alternative landscaping such as pebbles and plants in pots

I accept that many won’t want to do this due to aesthetics or cost (but it is the best way to keep termites and other pests at bay!). So if you keep the garden beds in place….

2)   Keep plants well pruned and away from the house, so you can walk along the exterior wall (or at least see the exterior wall clearly)

3)   Avoid or minimise watering the garden beds

4)   Use a non-organic mulch such as pebbles

5)   Don’t use organic fertilisers (such as manure or blood and bone) in the garden bed.

Pest entry points

There are a number of pest entry points that should be blocked off

6)   Fill any cracks or holes in walls and around doors and windows

 Metal pest protector on weephole

Metal pest protector on weephole

7)   Make sure insect screens and draft excluders are well fitted and in good condition

8)   Fit weepholes with pest protection screens (metal are best). DO NOT seal weep holes up with filler or block with soil / ground level. They are there for a reason!

9)   If your home has vents, the newer style with its open wire mesh is already rodent proof. If you have older style brick vents you will need to cover with rodent proof wire (preferably on the inside as it looks better). DO NOT cover with fine mesh to block out insects as this dramatically reduces airflow (the reason they are installed). For insect proofing you will need to spray inside the vents.

10)   To stop rodents getting into the roof, trim back any overhanging branches and block off any small holes into the roof void with rodent proof material

 Various rubbish, stored items and cardboard boxes in the sub-floor….. lots of pest hiding places

Various rubbish, stored items and cardboard boxes in the sub-floor….. lots of pest hiding places

For homes with a sub-floor

11)   Make sure there is sufficient drainage / airflow (ie. low humidity) in sub-floor.

12)   Throw out any rubbish in the sub-floor

13)   Minimise stored goods in the sub-floor – they create lots of insect hiding places and prevent complete inspection for termites

If you must store items in the sub-floor...

14)   Keep all stored items raised off the floor

15)   Store items in sealed plastic containers when possible

16)   Avoid using cardboard boxes, a favourite hiding place (and food source) for many insects

General maintenance

17)   Get rid of any waste wood / unwanted building materials

18)   Eliminate sources of standing water (potential mosquito breeding sites)

19)   Ensure all rubbish is places in bags, in solid bins with well fitting lids (ideally away from the house)

INSIDE

 Pet food left out is a big no-no

Pet food left out is a big no-no

20)   Check any incoming boxes for insect pests

21)   Avoid using cardboard boxes for storage (preferred insect hiding place and food source)

22)   Do not leave dirty dishes, spilt food and food waste lying around

23)   Clean potential kitchen pest hiding places on a regular basis; cooker, dishwasher, toaster, microwave and pantry

24)   Store food in sealed, insect-proof containers

25)   Do not leave pet food out / on floor

26)   Regularly vacuum, especially around edges of room and under furniture / dark places

27)   Keep clothes and shoes off the floor

28)   At the end of each season, wash clothes before storage and store in an insect-proof container / case

29)   Fix any leaks in kitchen, bathroom and laundry

30)   In rooms / cupboards that suffer from high humidity, try and locate the cause of increased humidity and remedy if possible. Otherwise use fans / dehumidifiers

Of course, once you have done your clean up / maintenance, a preventative pest spray works wonders and sets you on your path to a pest free home.

For outside your home PestXpert Outdoor Perimeter spray, provides a professional level treatment. Inside, PestXpert Pro-Spray Crawling and PestXpert Pro-Fogger are great options.