Pests are the worst. Sure, they may have a place in the food chain. But they are annoying, and they can be dangerous to you and your pets. On the other hand, pest treatments can also be dangerous. Between harmful chemicals and professional traps, pests create an entire realm of hazards, especially for pets. Fortunately, you can keep your home pest-free and your pets safe with foresight and proper planning. Here is a quick guide to pet-friendly pest control.
Ensure the Indoors Are Tidy to Prevent Pests
It goes without saying, but clutter inside will bring in visitors from outside. Scraps, old clothes, and bits of food provide energy and shelter for pests. Keeping the home tidy is therefore the first line of defense against pests.
Sure, they may have a place in the food chain. But they are annoying, and they can be dangerous to you and your pets. On the other hand, pest treatments can also be dangerous. Between harmful chemicals and professional traps, pests create an entire realm of hazards, especially for pets. Fortunately, you can keep your home pest-free and your pets safe with foresight and proper planning. Here is a quick guide to pet-friendly pest control.
You don’t have to bleach the floors every day. Pest control starts with:
- Removing clutter and items from the floor to eliminate pest shelters.
- Cleaning up spilled food crumbs and drink remnants to get rid of favorite pest foods.
- Storing pet foods in airtight containers.
- Repairing leaking pipes and areas of drips or condensation. Moisture draws in insects and rodents.
Once these areas are addressed, look into the dark places of the house. Pests can come in through foundation cracks, holes in the roof, or small openings in window seals. Thus, you must eliminate all such breaches throughout the house.
Head to the basement, attic, and crawl spaces. Look for signs of pests, such as chewed insulation or droppings. If you see nothing, seal any openings, and clean up clutter or standing water areas. Even slow drips from furnaces or washing machines can provide a habitat for pests.
If you use snapping mouse traps or poisons, ensure your pets can’t get to the areas. Block them off entirely until the pests are gone. And remember, dogs and cats that eat or contact poisoned pests may get sick themselves.
Once the indoors are secured, it’s time to go outside.
Keep the Outdoors in Check
Like indoors, tidiness is your friend for outdoor pest prevention, as well. Overgrown yards are breeding grounds for vermin of all kinds. Keeping a lawn in shape is the first step in outdoor pest management.
- Cut the lawn to a manageable level. Ticks and fleas love long grasses.
- Rake and eliminate leaves, leaving no piles that can harbor pests.
- Remove fallen branches from the yard that could feed termites.
- Remove any standing water to avoid breeding mosquitoes.
You will also need to look at the house itself. Search for cracks in the siding and foundation that could allow pests inside. If you see any, fill them appropriately. Doors and windows should be caulked and equipped with weather stripping. Holes in the siding can be covered with mesh screens, and roof and soffit holes can be filled with expanding foam.
Likewise, change your outdoor lighting to LEDs with warm colors. They are 90% more efficient than other lights. As well, these lights attract fewer pests than standard types. Keep the lights closer to the ground to avoid attracting flying bugs and other animals.
Finally, look for any external leaks. Outdoor irrigation systems and even dripping AC units can attract pests. Anything that brings pests closer to your home should be eliminated. Fix these issues to deprive pests of needed hydration.
Unless you have an infestation or runaway property damage, avoid using poisons or traps. These are just as dangerous for your pets, and they might unintentionally harm wildlife, as well. Prevention begins with a close eye on your surroundings. Keep up with the seasonal changes and adjust as needed.
As is often the case, though, nature finds a way. Even with the cleanest home, you might still see some pests from time to time. Fortunately, you can treat emerging problems with pet-safe, homemade treatments.
Home Treatments That Can Eliminate Pests
Treating pests at home is not overly difficult. Many types of vermin are repelled or killed by safe household ingredients. Because of this, having these remedies on hand is a great way to keep pests out while keeping pets safe.
Flies, fruit flies, and gnats can be caught with soap and vinegar traps. Use a paper funnel, suspended over cider or wine vinegar with a drop of dish soap. The vinegar will attract the flies. The soap will keep them trapped within.
Ants and spiders can be repelled with mixtures of vinegar, water, and essential oils. Note, however, that some pets and people are sensitive to essential oils. For spiders, mix peppermint oil and water. Spray the mixture along doors, windows, and other spider-prone areas. Eliminating all spiders is just about impossible, but you can keep them contained to the shadows, where they belong. However, if you have cats, avoid peppermint oil as it can be dangerous if inhaled.
- Combine white vinegar with tea tree or peppermint oil.
- Then, mix with a quarter-cup of water.
- Next, pour into a spray bottle, and spray ant-heavy areas.
All homemade remedies have a limit. Any time you see an infestation, home remedies will be unlikely to work. Following proper pest-avoidance procedures will help avoid infestations altogether. Sometimes, though, it just happens.
In that case, look for pet-safe professional pest control services near you. These professionals are educated on pet-safe tools and materials. With their experience, they will be able to maintain home safety while fixing the problem.
Pests and pets just don’t mix. Though they have their role in nature, pests are welcome to stay there, and leave our homes alone. To help affirm this point, keep your home and yard tidy. Avoid clutter, high humidity, and easy sources of food that will attract pests. Seal any cracks or holes that allow easy access.
If you decide to treat the issues yourself, remember to stay safe. Use pet-safe remedies and options. Pests can cause disease and illness in your pets, but so can poisons and traps. If needed, call in professionals that specialize in pet safety.