Unwanted pests such as bugs, creepy crawlies and rodents occasionally invite themselves into our homes, wreaking havoc and leaving us feeling like our home isn’t quite as clean and secure as we’d like it to be. But, many of us struggle to know how to deal with a pest problem, particularly if traditional measures don’t sit well with your values or could compromise your family’s safety. So, read on to find out how to pest proof your home without using traps or harsh chemicals…
Pest proofing your garden
Slugs are a real problem in the garden, creeping up in the middle of the night to devour your vegetable patch. But, rather than using chemicals, why not try wrapping decorative copper tape around your potted plants? Slugs and snails hate copper, so consider buying copper sheeting, mesh or wire and leaving it over the top your plants to ward off those hungry invertebrates! If you’re not able to get your hands on any in a hurry, use human hair in the mean time. Slugs don’t like crawling across it, and better yet the hair will add nitrogen to the soil to act as a fertiliser.
Another common garden pest is the common squirrel. They’re cute and fluffy, but menaces when it comes to bird feeders, stealing nuts and seeds and taking over your garden as if it’s their very own territory. The most humane way to rid yourself of this problem is to simply stop providing them with food, so temporarily take away the bird seed and watch their numbers reduce.
Then, take a look at anti squirrel feeders and see which design is suitable for you: some are weight activated and will shut when a squirrel or similarly sized animal lands upon it, others protect seed with a fine layer of mesh that squirrels can’t get through, while other designs ‘baffle’ squirrels by making it hard for them crawl on. Buying a squirrel proof feeder will make them give up using your garden for food and they’ll move on to someone else’s patch in no time.
Pest proofing your pantry and food cupboards
Pests will enter your house if they’re on the hunt for food, so pest proof your kitchen by making it hard for them to find. Sweep and hoover the floors every day to remove traces of crumbs and other food debris, and keep food and food containers off the floor – this will deter ants from visiting your kitchen throughout the summer.
Cereal ought to be stored in plastic containers rather than in the cardboard boxes you buy them in, as rodents can easily chew through cardboard, and it’s also a good idea to cover up any entry points with vents and make sure that cat flaps are kept shut if you’ve already noticed a problem with mice and rats.
Pest proofing the rest of your house
Pests will enter your home looking for food or shelter, so once you’ve worked on the tips above, turn your attention to tackling the ‘shelter’ motivation. Check all your doors, door frames, windows and window frames to make sure that the seals are tight, and that there aren’t any gaps or holes or cracks that pests can enter through.
Also, investigate the area around the outside of your house and see if you’re making life too easy for unwanted visitors. For instance, if you have low overhanging branches near to your windows or gutters, trim the branches back so that animals can’t use them as a little bridge to enter your house.
Finally, clear up the clutter. Some pests will make nests out of your stash of old newspapers or piles of clothing, so put everything away and eliminate the possibility of animals setting up camp in your home.