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Pests make up an unpleasant part of our households. They are an inevitable annoyance that remind us when we are messy or forget to put away food or garbage. As the days grow longer, we experience more pest problems. While reality dictates that we will never completely eliminate pests, we can control them. There are many useful strategies you can employ to help give you the upper hand and live a more hygienic lifestyle.

Good sanitation practices make up a large part of an effective do it yourself pest control strategy. Garbage should be kept away from your house in cans secured with lids to keep away foraging pests. All garbage waste should be removed at least once a week, perhaps twice a week if you have a large family or produce a lot of kitchen or diaper waste. Garbage bins inside your home should be routinely emptied especially if there is a lot of organic waste that can rot. Rotting food is like a bright neon sign for a wide assortment of pests.

Storing your food properly is also a key component to eliminating pests. Substances like sugar and flour are highly desirable to many different types of pests. In tropical climates it is common to store foods in sealed containers or Ziploc bags to keep out pests. This strategy can work well with people who are having ant problems. Different species of ants enjoy different foods. If the ants in your home enjoy sugar you should start sealing your sugar, cereal, cookies and other foods that contain sugar. If you become exasperated because of the ant’s relentless nature, you can always store their favorite foods in your refrigerator.

Though many pests prefer living with us like mice or cockroaches, they usually come from outside. Securing the exterior of your house can help you reduce the pest problem. If you sign up for a monthly exterminator service, they will spray the perimeter of your house. This is not only an effective way to keep pests out but it is also quite easy to do yourself. At any garden store you can find pump sprayers. Using one of these with pesticide is easy. Look for an outdoor pesticide that matches the pests you have in your area. Close all the windows in your house, turn off any heating or air conditioning units that draw air from the outside and spray. You just saved yourself 40 – 50 dollars a month.

Bushes and trees branches that touch your house are freeways for ants and mice. Always keep the vegetation trimmed away from the sides of your home and roof. If mosquitoes are a problem in your area, look for any containers that can hold water. This could include anything from a bromeliad plant to an empty flower pot. Mosquitoes are not picky and do not need much water to breed. One of the most effective and eye pleasing ways to reduce mosquito populations is to set up a container pond. A pot filled with water, a few hardy water plants and inexpensive guppies or goldfish makes a great mosquito trap. The fish do not kill the adults but they decimate the next generation.

Baiting pests is one of the most effective ways of eliminating their populations. The theory is the poison is taken back to the nests and shared. If you have ant or cockroach problems, there are many effective baits you can purchase. Cockroach bait stations work well if the traps are replaced monthly. The best ant baits are the liquid drops. Simply place a few drops on some cardboard and wait for the ants to feed. When they are done, they march back to the nest and poison the queen and other workers.

Most pest problems can be handled easily without having to call a professional. There are times however when circumstances can get beyond your control. Large infestations should be handled by experienced exterminators. The pest control chemical sprays that exterminators use is more powerful and effective than the products at your local store. Plus they have the knowledge and expertise to know how much pesticide can be safely used near your house, pets and family. Also, some pests are better off left to the professionals. Carpenter ants and termites require tenting as part of an effective method of control which is something you should definitely not attempt.

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