The interior of your home may be decorated in the latest hues and accessorized with accent colours and fashionable baubles but take another glance and try to see your home from a pest’s point of view.
Take a look at how easy it is to access your property if you are a tiny ant or a mouse. Do you have small gaps under your doors? Are there bushes brushing the exterior or cracks in the foundations? Don’t let pests like insects and spiders invade your beautiful home, because if they can get in and find food and shelter they won’t want to leave in a hurry. Here are seven design tips on how to keep your home a pest-free sanctuary from guest blogger Ian B who writes for Design 55 Online , a website specialising in homeware.
1. Bats About Soffits
One neglected area in the home is the soffits in the overhang. Soffits act like armpits and invite air into the attic. This air cools down hot attics in the summer, making for a cooler home. In winter, the circulating air prevents ice build up on the roofs.
Some homeowners drill one-inch holes in the overhang and then cover the holes with pieces of screen, held in place by nails or staples. These fasteners can loosen and the screen may peel back, providing an ideal place for bats to enter the attic. Homeowners must check all soffits. Manufactured soffits are easy to install and will last for years.
2. Defend the Base
The base of the house is an entry point for various critters. If the foundation has cracks, then cockroaches, spiders, fire ants, sugar ants and black ants get in. In spring, homeowners need to check the foundation for points where bugs might enter. All cracks must be sealed.
3. Creepy Cupboards
Bugs love cupboards. Cookie crumbs are a feast for ants and cockroaches. Boxes and packages of food are easy for bugs to enter. Every spring, cupboards must be emptied and cleaned. A full-strength cleaning soap suitable for wood will wipe out scent trails that ants leave for their buddies to follow.
All food should be well sealed, either in zip-lock bags or suitable jars or containers. Bugs will get into most packaging sold in the grocery store.
Look for openings between the back splash and the counter top. Insects will use these cracks as invasion routes. Seal openings with caulk.
4. Flying Through Windows
Flies love windows. Windows are probably the most vulnerable feature in man’s castle called home. The caulk around windows gets old and cracked as the weather takes its toll. Screens can develop tiny holes and tears, especially along the molding strip or the rubber channel gasket. As these parts loosen or break down from age, gaps appear and offer entry to flies, mosquitoes, hornets and wasps.
Broken aluminum screen or hardware mesh must be replaced. The wood or metal screen frame should be inspected for gaps in the corners where the pieces are joined. The screen frame should fit tightly in the window opening. These steps will insure that no buzzing mosquito disturbs anyone’s sleep.
5. Welcome Mickey Mouse
How does Mickey Mouse get into a house? He walks through the door. Most mice, even those not named Mickey, get into houses by walking through the door. Any small gap less than 6mm in a door that doesn’t close completely is an invitation for a mouse to walk in.
A door should be plumbed by a professional carpenter to be certain no gaps exist and it hangs plumb. A plumb door closes tightly. The result is that Mickey Mouse stays in the great outdoors, and the cheese and crackers are safe.
6. Bushes Attract Pests
Bushes beside a house attract pests. Insects and mice find bushes a great place to live and an easy point to enter a house. Cut down or trim back all bushes close to a house.
7. Mildew Loves Roofs
Mildew is not a favorite aunt who drops in to admire a roof. Mildew is produced by molds that attack the roof. It’s usually green or black and forms streak on roofs. Mildew will grow on roofs shaded by trees and in areas that are damp and humid. Mildew can cause severe damage to roofs.
Mildew can be removed by filling a garden sprayer with one gallon of water and one-third of a gallon of bleach. The solution is sprayed on and allowed to set for 30 minutes. This is followed by a rinse with a garden hose.