This holiday season, family and friends should be the only guests you welcome into your home.

If you are having problems with unwanted pest guests, there are several effective DIY methods to rid your home of insects or rodents.

Some insect or rodents have notoriously destructive tendencies or cause health issues.

What pests are considered especially bad in your home?

Any insect or rodent can become a pest if they damage your property or pose health hazards. Most of us can tolerate that one rogue pest that finds its way into a home. A swarm or cluster of that pest requires quick action and an effective way to get rid of them.

Some insects or rodents have notoriously destructive tendencies or cause health issues right from the outset. If one of these pests appears in your home, it’s safe to assume they’re not alone. Take steps to remove them before they cause serious damage to your home or health.

  • Termites. The National Pest Management Association reports termites cause approximately $5 billion in property damage every year. DIY mitigation efforts are not recommended for termites. You’ll definitely want to call a professional who can identify the type of termite in your home and develop a treatment plan for removal.
  • Carpenter ants. Carpenter ants have extremely powerful jaws. Unlike termites, these insects don’t consume the wood; instead, they chew on it and can easily hollow out solid pine or fir lumber to build their nests. This action can make a home structurally unstable.
  • Cockroaches. Cockroaches are a persistent species; prevention is the most effective way to keep these insects out of your house. These pests are known to cause asthma in humans and carry a host of other diseases. Additionally, some of the powerful treatment methods can trigger asthma attacks and cause other health issues.
  • Pantry pests. Fruit flies and meal moths are among the most common household pests that are typically drawn to kitchens, pantries, and anywhere food is stored.
  • Bed bugs. Bed bugs don’t carry disease, although they can and will bite, causing itchy red bumps at the site. A bedbug infestation can spread throughout an entire house quickly and easily. They can cause several thousands of dollars in damage due to eradication treatments and replacing bedding, furniture, clothing, or other household items. There are several DIY methods on the market, such as bug bombs, sprays, or putting clothing and bedding in the clothes dryer so the extreme heat will kill the pests.
  • Rats and mice. Rodents are destructive and the damage they cause can be expensive. Both rats and mice are notorious chewers; they can gnaw through electrical wiring, insulation, cardboard boxes (think storage areas like attics and basements), and paneling, which can cause a host of structural problems in a home. Rats and mice also do not have bladders and will leak urine throughout a home, leaving bacteria and possible disease behind. Rodent droppings are also known to trigger allergic reactions in people.
  • Squirrels. Squirrels frequently seek shelter in a home’s attic or crawlspace. Aggressive chewers, squirrels chew through siding or soffits and often make nests in the eaves of an attic or other remote areas of a house.

Ladybugs love aphids and other harmful insects.

Are any pests good to be in your home?

Some “pests” are beneficial to vegetation and are considered a friend to farmers, gardeners, and landscapers. Others are tolerable because they don’t carry disease. It doesn’t mean you necessarily want them as long-term guests in your home, though.

  • Ladybugs. These easily recognizable black-and-red critters are beloved by those in agriculture, as they can eat up to 5,000 insects in a lifetime. Ladybugs love aphids and other harmful insects.
  • Spiders. Except for a few species (the black widow and brown recluse among the most famous), spiders are relatively harmless. Homeowners tend to dislike spiders because, for many, spider webs give the impression of a dusty, cluttered, rundown home.

How do you rid yourself of unwanted pests?

Prevention is the best way to keep unwanted pests from invading your kitchen and other areas of your home.

  • Don’t leave food sitting out. Store unused or leftover food in tightly-sealed containers.
  • To keep meal moths out, store dry goods like pasta, cereal, and pet food in metal or glass containers rather than cardboard boxes or plastic storage bins. To deter fruit flies, keep produce in the refrigerator, not on a counter.
  • Apple cider vinegar, peppermint oil, and other essential oils are natural, inexpensive, and effective insect repellents. Be sure to mix the apple cider vinegar with a generous amount of water if you’re using it on your plants. Ideally, spray the mixture in the dirt or area around your plant, not on the plant itself.

Best tips for securing your home

Regular upkeep and cleanouts go a long way toward securing your home against unwanted pest guests. Here are a few quick and easy tips to keep insects and rodents out:

  •  Secure all doors and windows. Many pests can squeeze through the smallest opening, so be diligent in ensuring windows and doors close properly, repairing ripped or torn screens, and caulking any cracks or crevices along door or window frames.
  • Avoid cardboard storage containers. Rats, mice, squirrels, and some insects can gnaw through the most heavy-duty paper easily. Store items in plastic tubs instead.
  • Check your home’s foundation. Once again, regularly check your home for any cracks, crevices, or openings that unwanted pests could use to easily enter your home.
  • Set traps. If you suspect (or see) an insect or rodent, try a DIY method first. Sticky traps work well for insects like cockroaches; regular mouse traps are an effective solution for rodents.

Simple DIY solutions can often take care of the problem. Contact a pest control professional for more intense remediation if the problem persists or if your home is infested with a particularly aggressive type of insect, like termites.

Spend the holidays enjoying the ones you love, not worrying about pests who are overstaying their welcome.


Pest Issues? Contact The Pest Rangers Today.