12 DIY pest control tips to pest-proof your home against rodents and bugs
The average house in the U.S. serves as the unwilling home to more than 100 different species of pests. Mice, insects and spiders constantly crawl inside your home looking for food and a place to nest. Besides biting and stinging you, spreading disease, and laying eggs, these pests can even cause structural damage to your home. But you can stop them.
Hidden damage caused by pests
Spiders and insects can trigger allergies and asthma attacks. Rodents can carry hantavirus and other diseases, or spread food-borne illnesses such as salmonella.
An ant infestation in your house can go unnoticed at first, but the damage can be severe. Carpenter ants and other wood-boring insects can riddle the wood in your home with fungus-filled holes. Termites can literally devour your house, causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage.
Mice and rats love to chew on electrical wiring, causing problems that can remain unseen behind a wall. But that damage could spark a dangerous house fire.
Top 10 household pests
Your home can be invaded by nearly any kind of insect or rodent, but these are the most common offenders:
12 DIY pest control tips to keep out common household pests
- Thoroughly inspect the exterior of your home. Use silicone caulk to seal any cracks and small crevices. Mice can squeeze through spaces as small as a dime, and rats can enter a space the size of a quarter. Almost any gap can let in bugs.
- If you find wider gaps, stuff them with steel wool, which discourages rodents from trying to gnaw their way inside.
- Be sure to check for gaps around areas where pipes and utilities enter your home.
- Replace loose mortar and weather-stripping around windows.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet away from your home. Rodents and insects like to nest in wood piles. Moving firewood further from your home makes it harder for pests to get inside.
- Keep your garage and other storage areas well organized. Store boxes on shelves, not the floor, to discourage pests from nesting in the cardboard.
- Repair any damaged window screens.
- Install door sweeps on all exterior doors.
- Install protective screens on your chimney and attic vents.
- Keep all shrubbery near your home properly trimmed. Make sure that any mulch is kept at least 20 inches away from your foundation.
- Inspect your attic and basement to make sure each area is dry and well-ventilated.
- Dispose of garbage promptly, and keep garbage cans as far away from your home as possible.
Cost of hiring a pest control professional
Rodent control typically consists of finding entry points and setting traps or ultrasonic rodent control devices, then cleaning up and repairing damage. Ongoing visits typically cost between $90 and $250 each.
Insect control costs vary widely depending on the type of pest. Ongoing visits typically average between $30 and $50 per month. Some pests can be controlled with a one-time visit, usually between $300 and $550. Difficult cases such as termite control can cost even more.
The easiest pest control is selling your home.
Sometimes, ordinary pest control isn’t enough. If you’re suffering from an infestation or you suspect pests may have caused hidden structural damage to your house, it may be time to sell. Call We Buy Ugly Houses® to get a cash offer for your house. That way you can sell your house quickly, without spending all of your time and money trying to get rid of those pests.