When you own a home you can’t wait to invite friends and family over. But there can also be uninvited guests – pests! We expect to meet pests during outdoor activities, but when you find them inside, that’s a whole other story.

Pests can be a serious problem beyond the gross-out factor when they lurk around your home. Insects and rodents can cause serious property damage, and they’re a health problem because they spread disease and can aggravate allergies.

Insects may outnumber people, but we’re still a whole lot bigger and smarter. Here are a few things you can do to safely protect your home from a pest invasion.

Know Your Local Insect Population 

One thing to keep in mind is that pest problems are highly localized. The pest control in Denver is going to be dramatically different than pest control in Nashville because they aren’t the same environment. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. It can even vary from one property to the next.

Start by knowing what insects and pests you need to look out for around your house. Local universities, city governments, and state agricultural departments can provide more information on local pests you’re most likely to deal with. Once you know what insects are active in your area you can keep an eye out for them.

Call Professional Pest Control Technicians When There’s an Infestation

Homeowners can take preventative measures on their own, but if you find out you have an insect infestation don’t hesitate to call a professional pest control technician. Since insects can multiply very quickly time is of the essence. Failed do-it-yourself attempts are not only unsafe in many situations, they can also be completely ineffective and make the problem worse.

Professional exterminators know how to identify pests, the best treatment options and have access to pesticides that aren’t available to the general public. If you have health concerns, ask about the possibility of using natural or organic pesticides. Today, many companies offer these alternatives.

Get Rid of All Standing Water

The most dangerous animal on the planet isn’t a shark, bear or a lion. It’s a minuscule insect that can sneak up on you just about anywhere.

Mosquitoes are responsible for more human deaths than all other animals combined. That’s because they spread a number of deadly vector-borne diseases like malaria and West Nile Virus. So they aren’t just an annoying pest that will ruin your summer barbecue.

The best way to keep mosquitoes off your property is by getting rid of all standing water. Mosquitoes need water to lay their eggs, and it only takes an inch of water to get the job done. Take a stroll around your yard to look for:

  • Water fountains that aren’t flowing properly.
  • Leaking faucets or water hoses.
  • Bird baths with sitting water.
  • Bird feeders that catch rainwater.
  • Broken sprinkler heads.
  • Potholes and uneven dips where water can collect.
  • Plant pots and dishes that can hold water.
  • Broken gutters that cause water to pool.

Fix any and all issues that can lead to standing water, and don’t forget the insect repellant when you’re outdoors.

Clear Out Clutter Indoors and Outdoors

Pests love clutter. They use it as a home, finding a spot and even a food source in some instances. Poisonous brown recluse spiders are among the most notorious clutter-loving bugs. As the name suggests, they prefer to conceal themselves in clutter where they can’t be seen.

Do your best to get rid of all the clutter both inside and outside. But make sure to wear gloves while you clean just in case insects are already nesting in the debris.

Keep a Tight Lid on Your Trash

Like all other animals, pests need food to survive. Some insects suck nectar out of flowers. There are also bugs that eat other insects for sustenance. However, many pests are scavengers that feed off of our scraps.

Your trash cans are a primary target that can attract pests right to your front door. Keeping a tight lid on the trash is one of the best things you can do to keep pests off your property. Aluminum garbage cans are more expensive, but they tend to create a better seal around the lid compared to plastic options. Also, when you put garbage in the trash cans for collection never keep the bins near your house. Store them as far away as possible, and move them out to the side of the road as soon as you can.

There’s no way to guarantee zero pests will find their way onto your property or in your home. However, using the tips above will go a long way towards reducing the risk of an infestation.