As National Inspect and Protect Week continues, today we’re exploring ways to keep your home clean as part of the INSPECT (INvestigate, Study, Prepare, Eliminate, Clean and Treat) process to ensure your home is consistently pest-free. Even the cleanest homes might occasionally encounter pest problems, but simple, frequent cleaning can greatly reduce the chances of pest invasions.
Insects and other critters will happily make themselves at home wherever there is food and water. Here are a few easy housekeeping tasks from Molly Maid for maintaining your home.
For keeping a tidy kitchen:
- Clean daily around your refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher to remove any leftover food crumbs.
- Wipe down all kitchen counters after every meal. Leftover food particles might be enough to attract these little critters for an unintended feast.
- Before disposing of food containers and beverage cans, rinse them out.
- Store pantry food in air tight containers.
- Eat only in the kitchen and clean up after every meal. Limiting where you eat reduces the areas exposed to food residue, providing less risk for uninvited visitors.
In other areas inside your house, it is important to:
- Get rid of the clutter — stacks of papers, piles of clothing, and unneeded boxes. Pests love to hide and a cluttered home becomes a pest’s paradise.
- Pull beds away from the wall to lessen breeding grounds for bugs. Bugs like to nest in cool, dark spaces and exposing them will make these areas less desirable for local insects.
- Dust and wipe down baseboards regularly to avoid attraction to the mess.
- Properly clean all clothes before storing them in the back of your closet for winter.
When venturing outside, remember to:
- Trim trees, bushes and other foliage that might be providing a highway into your home.
- Remove any piles of leaves or debris that might be housing unwanted annoyances.
Following these suggestions may help you avoid the exterminator altogether. There is no need to give pests reasons to come searching for food and shelter in your home. Watch extension specialist Janet Hurley’s video here for more ways to keep your home clean and pest-free.
Feel free to visit Debug the Myths to review any of the steps you have missed earlier in the week.