Go from Lord of the Flies to King of Your Castle
One of the most important developments of modern health and comfort is the refinement of pest control solutions. It used to be that insects and rodents were the leading cause of disease and death. But just because it’s not the Middle Ages doesn’t mean you should become complacent about your household pest control methods.
Modern cockroaches spread 33 types of bacteria, at least, and six types of parasitic worms, among other illnesses. Mice are sneaky — You may think your home is safe, but 82% of US homes have mouse allergens anyway. If you really want a nightmare, sleep on this: for every human on Earth, there are about 1.5 million ants. That’s 10.5 quadrillion ants.
Victor Crocco, an environmental health manager in Colorado, said pests are attracted to food , especially food left outside or in the garage. Yes, even in a heavy-duty trash bag.
“This is especially a problem for people who live in the country and don’t have regular trash pickup,” Crocco said. “Trash is left out for a week or two and then put in a truck and taken to the landfill. In the meantime, rodents get inside the bags where it’s warm and there’s food.
An emergency happens when the pests infiltrate one’s home. Entryways for unwelcome guests tend to be around cabinets, in the corners of closets, the fireplace, doors, and pipes under sinks or washing machines. Hot water heaters and furnaces, dryer vents, floor vents, attics, and basements and crawl spaces are also at risk. If that’s too much, think of places that meet these criteria:
- Low traffic or rarely cleaned
Rodent control equipment includes devices such as sprayers (similar to weed killer spray), foam, dusters, and traps which range from the iconic spring-loaded mousetrap to baited glue-pads.
Since pests are sneaky, look for these signs to know when it’s time for rodent control equipment, bug sprays, or exterminators:
- “Dirt” where there shouldn’t be. Mouse droppings are small but insect refuse can easily be mistaken for grains of soil
- Patches of dried or fresh urine.
- Damaged wires, chewed-up wood, and other types of deterioration.
- Nests, which can be made of many different types of debris. This is why it’s important to clear out your dust bunnies.
- Lone pests. Where there’s one, there are bound to be more. Don’t believe you’re safe just because you caught one mouse or a handful of roaches. Examine the area in which you found them carefully and call an expert to do a more thorough inspection if needed.
Always wear gloves when handling pests and clean areas in which you find them with bleach, if possible. It’s safest to leave pest control to experts, who have the gear and knowledge to protect themselves. Any sort of insect or rodent control equipment you can buy still needs to be used properly, or else you risk your own health. Many pest control services offer options which have minimum impact one any but the target organisms, so ask around and be fully informed before you execute your extermination.