Preventing Household Pests

One of the few things many of us detest about summer months are pests. Though they may not always emerge when we’re around they often leave behind some evidence of they have been there.

It may be droppings; it may be a few stragglers still investigating a scene. Either way, seeing little things crawling up and down the home is never fun and makes us uncomfortable enough to take immediate action like spraying chemicals, calling an exterminator, or killing insects with our bare hands.

Nevertheless, these acts don’t solve the core problem because whatever methods we use it’s likely to happen again unless a few changes are made to our surroundings. Here are a few precautionary measures.

These measures may vary depending on the pest (mosquitoes, ants, silverfish, mice, etc) but what’s clear is we can have a say, most of the time, in a portion of the insect population’s access to our homes. It may be a constant struggle to maintain borders between ‘us and them’ but it’s worth trying to keep up with, especially during warmer weather.


Sitting trash isn’t only a breeding ground for some insects, it’s a
megaphone calling out to others “come and get it!” In the winter this may not be as much of a problem but in the summer it definitely is. Even when a home is air conditioned it’s not cold twenty four hours a day so there are times a trash can and the temperature will meet to create the perfect storm for attracting pests.

Some solutions include removing the garbage from the living space often, keeping it in a closed container, and not leaving it scattered in different places. Exterminators are only truly needed for infestations and when taking precautions like these will put off having to call one.


Sometimes all it takes for certain insects to make camp in your home is moisture. Pests showing up because of one slow leak in the kitchen may discover other leaks or damp areas in the home and decide to explore those too. After all, if you have more than one market it’s sometimes worth checking out the selection at another. Right?

In warmer weather wetness must be taken seriously when it comes to pests, including mosquitoes which breed around standing water. To make sure you don’t have an unsuspecting drip in your wall a good test is to turn off all water in the home, wait an hour, and check the meter. If it’s still moving chances are there is a leak.


In the insect kingdom windows without screens are like houses without doors; anything that wants to will find its way in. Now that its spring and you’re probably opening up the windows more often make sure screens are in tact and working properly.

Doing so will save you a big headache on those steamy humid nights when all you want is to sleep sound but a very annoying bug won’t stop buzzing in your ear.


Screens are one thing and easy to assess; crack are another. Cracks can form in foundations, walls, basements, attics, the foyer and elsewhere yet in many cases they may be too small for us to see or difficult to get to.

The best thing to do is survey your property looking for holes that may potentially open into a wall. As long as insects like roaches and ants can fit through mark it for filling. Once your assessment is complete decide on what type of fillings may be needed if it’s cement or caulking and apply.

In the end you’re not going to be able to prevent every little critter
knocking on the door from entering but you can keep out a lot.

Jakob Barry is a home improvement journalist for He writes for pros across the U.S. like Virginia Beach, VA exterminators.