Nearly every article about basic pest prevention stresses this key point: keep your home clean. This seems like common sense. Of course, a cluttered home with dirty dishes in the sink and crumbs on the floor is more likely to get a pest control problem. So how come clean and tidy homes can also have pest issues?
If you’ve found yourself in this frustrating situation, don’t stress--it is not a reflection on your cleaning abilities. Below, we’ll explain some of the reasons why clean homes get pest infestations and provide tips for what to do about it.
1. They’re getting in through gaps.
Pests are pros at finding a way into homes, and you might be making it easier for them than you think. Remember: mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a nickel, and the average rat can fit through a hole the size of a quarter. Cockroaches and spiders need significantly less space than that.
Here are some of the most common pest entry points:
- Open windows and doors
- Holes in window and door screens
- Gaps under exterior doors
- Holes in your home’s exterior meant for pipes and cables
- Vents and gaps around vents
- Gaps around window AC units
Sometimes it’s difficult to determine exactly where pests are getting in, especially after you’ve taken the time to repair screens, seal windows, and install sweeps under your exterior doors. That’s when you should involve a pest control expert to help you get to the root of the problem.
2. They hitched a ride on your clothing or luggage.
Bed bugs are hitchhikers no one wants, but unfortunately, thousands of people bring them home unknowingly every year--and not just from hotels. Aside from overnight lodgings, some other common places where you might pick up bed bugs include buses, planes, trains, retail stores, and movie theaters.
Bed bugs spread by crawling and attaching onto clothing, furniture, linens, and luggage. Even though these bloodsucking pests don’t spread disease, their bites are itchy and can be quite painful, especially in large numbers. Trust us: you would much rather take steps to prevent an infestation than deal with an existing one.
3. They stowed away with your groceries.
It’s not pleasant to think about, but yes, your grocery store (or their supplier) could have a pest control problem, which could spread to your home. Here are some precautions you should take:
- Avoid produce if flies are buzzing around it--this a sign that they’ve laid eggs in it.
- Don’t buy something if you can see that the packaging has been clawed, chewed, or torn in any way.
- Once you get home, immediately wash your produce.
- Store your dry goods in airtight containers right away and check for any signs of pantry pests.
- If you find bugs in your groceries, tie the contaminated food up in a bag and discard it in your outdoor garbage can.
4. They’re smelling unsealed food.
As mentioned above, one of the first things you should do after coming home with groceries is to store your food in airtight containers. Pests prefer a dark place to hide, so clear containers are ideal because they let in the most light. When food isn’t in a sealed container, it’s really easy for insects and rodents to catch the scent of something delicious. Ants, in particular, are masters at seeking out food, as they have four to five times more odor receptors than most other insects.
5. They’re attracted to your pet’s food.
Your dog’s bowl might have their name on it, but to a mouse or a cockroach, it’s a free meal. Although it might be a little disruptive to your pet at first, we recommend establishing meal times for them so that you can avoid leaving their food out all day and all night. Plus, you don’t want pests contaminating the food, so it’s best to put it away when they’re not eating. Also, make sure your pet’s food supply is stored in a hard, sealed container!
6. They’ve crawled up through your plumbing.
This is the possibility that no one wants to think about, but yes, it does happen. Rats’ incredible swimming and climbing abilities allow them to travel from the city sewer into your home’s plumbing and up into your toilet. Similarly, when the city performs sewer maintenance, this can frighten cockroaches into seeking a safe haven in your plumbing system. From there, if they don’t get washed back down to the sewer, they can crawl out of your drains.
With Sage Pest Control, you can expect thorough inspections, free estimates, year-round protection, and GreenPro and QualityPro certified professionals. Contact us online or call us at (704) 413-3398 to schedule your appointment today.