Simple DIY Pest Control tips That Can Save Your Home

by Greg on January 25, 2012

termite

In this article I am going to explore the best, inexpensive ways to protect your house from pests.

Most homeowners understand the reasons for protecting their family and their property from insect and animal infestation. Their concern for health dangers to the family and physical damage to their home is justified. Too few homeowners realize the importance of the role they have in the pest-control battle. While professional assistance may eventually be required, the homeowner, as first line of defense has important and effective actions they should take.

Insects and animal pests thrive by taking the easiest route available to their next meal or location for building a new home. That animal behavior pattern is the key to the preventive actions you take as a homeowner. To deny them entry onto your property you simply make the work required to gain entry more difficult and less attractive.

If you are building a home or buying a new one, you have the opportunity to be proactive about termite protection. In these situations it is easy for unscrupulous contractors to take advantage of you. You must beware of claims that proactive termite efforts and treatments have been made, for which there is no proof.

Existing homes are a different situation entirely. Termite infestation can occur in some unexpected places. Rarely is a homeowner capable of determining if a house is really free of infestation in these specific areas. You need special tools and techniques to check the following areas in existing homes:

– Stored timber
– Stored newspaper or cardboard packing
– Dark damp ground level storage areas
– Damp soil above or below ground
– Ground to flooring void areas that are often not accessible
– Retaining walls, especially those with railway sleepers
– Large trees or Bushland close to a home

If you already live in a home, a periodic inspection is vital to protect the value of your home. The longer you delay gives the pests the opportunity they need to move into inaccessible and hard to treat areas. One of the serious dangers of termite infestation is the ability of the pests to hide their presence until it is too late and a structure collapses.

To prevent termite infestations, make sure that there are at least 18 inches of space between any untreated wood framing and soil beneath porches and decks, as well as in crawl spaces. Treating the soil with insecticide and covering the ground with plastic sheeting should do the trick.

All foundation cracks must be sealed. Termites can enter even those as narrow as 1/32 of an inch. To prevent rodents and larger animals from beneath open porches and decks, enclose the space with quarter-inch mesh screening.

Elsewhere, you can just seal joints with caulking compound where siding and trim meet. Also make sure you seal wall openings around pipes, vents and similar items, and install metal rodent guards to keep animals from climbing vertical pipes.

If you want to keep the birds from roosting on downspouts, windowsills and other surfaces, attach anti-roosting strips – metal strips with prongs that prevent birds from alighting.

If you have a problem with squirrels lodging in chimneys, install a screened chimney cap.

To prevent rodents and larger animals from  rifling of garbage cans, they need to have lids that can be secured. They should be stored away from walls, preferably on a platform about 18 inches above ground.

To pest-proof the inside of a house, keep moisture to a minimum and provide adequate ventilation so that dampness and excessive heat are eliminated. Keep surfaces as clean as possible, especially in kitchens, bathrooms, basements and attics.

Signs of infestation outdoors and indoors should be dealt with right away. Termites may construct web-like shelter tubes of soil running from the ground to available openings in the house.

If you find any tubes – break them open. If termites are inside – call an exterminator immediately.

A sign of carpenter ants is coarse sawdust beneath exit holes in damaged wood. Powder-post beetles produce fine sawdust. In all cases, call an exterminator.

Carpenter bees, which resemble bumble bees, can burrow into wood near the roof or above doorways, creating circular holes. You can sometimes get rid of them by spraying an insecticide containing diazinon, carbaryl or pyrethrins into the holes after dark, when the bees will be inside, and then plugging the openings with caulking compound.

Poison sprays, traps and dusts are usually effective indoors against light insect infestations, but please, follow the safety precautions listed on the containers. For heavy infestations call an exterminator.

Keeping a home safe from pests in any part of the world is always a constant battle. In Australia, and especially the Gold Coast area, there are a good number of pests to keep you busy. If you need specific treatments targeted towards the predominant pests in your area – call a pest exterminator.

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Written by Michelle Lee

Michelle Lee is an expert in pest prevention. Her long term employment with a pre purchase building inspection company in Australia  can offer great advice that she willingly shares.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Termites Brisbane May 4, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I am very impressed to your blog you did a very hard work. and I really appreciate you to sharing such a useful post, Great Job

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Pest Control Daytona Beach May 23, 2013 at 12:56 pm

I would actually like to share this in our monthly newsletter! we always include a lot of DIY!

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Chris May 23, 2013 at 1:33 pm

No problem at all – just please link to http://www.homeiown.com as a source. Thanks!

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