It happens when you least expect it – the panicked feeling of realizing you have a pest problem in your home. Maybe you’ve witnessed mice scurrying out of the corner of your eye, or come home to a trail of ants that seem to have arrived within hours. Your initial solution may be to go out and buy every pest spray or trap on the market. You may even rummage through your own supplies at home to see if there’s a quick DIY method. While we can’t deny that these tricks may remedy your situation in the short-term, there is likely a reason why these pests have arrived in the first place. Much like you can’t fix a broken pipe with a Band-Aid, you can’t actually resolve your pest problem without figuring out the source of it. Unfortunately, your unwelcomed visitors are likely the symptom of a larger issue.

With April being recognized as National Pest Management month, it’s a great time to start talking about how necessary it is to implement a strategy when it comes to keeping insects and rodents out for good. Here are a few tips to help get at the source of the problem, rather than quickly “fixing” it:

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Block entry points, also known as exclusion. Being able to identify how pests are getting in can be one of the most effective and long-lasting methods of pest control. Common areas that are easily overlooked are openings in door and window frames, vents, and where pipes or wires enter your home. Identifying where pests are coming in from the outside can immensely help prevent your problem.

Eliminate food and water sources. A common myth is that people with pest problems are “dirty” and leave food behind. However, this is not usually the cause of your problem as even the cleanest households can be subject to an infestation. On the flipside, leaving food out creates a conducive environment that keeps pests around. Make sure dirty dishes are washed or put away in the dishwasher, food containers are tightly sealed, and messes/spills are quickly cleaned.

Insects and rodents also need water to survive. Something as simple as fixing a leaky faucet can help to prevent pests like cockroaches, spiders and mice.

Declutter your yard and property. Because pests arrive from the outdoors, there are things you can do to make sure your property isn’t attracting them. Removing piles of firewood near doors in the fall/winter and picking up garden tools and toys in the spring and summer can help eliminate pest harborages. Mosquitoes can also breed in as little as a ¼” of water – so empty out trash bins and buckets that may have filled with rainwater.

All of these strategies can help you to actually resolve the cause of your problem, rather than treat the symptom. Pest control companies like Wil-Kil utilize these very methods to help keep pests out. A professional can help you to identify entry points and make recommendations, and apply treatment methods to the outside of your home that will repel insects and rodents in the first place.

Living in the Midwest, every season brings about new pests problems. This means you will need to adapt your methods of prevention on a regular basis. A routine visit from a professional can help you prepare for the changing weather so you don’t have to worry about pests at any time of year. Contact Wil-Kil to learn more about our Total Home Protection Plan.