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Pest Control for Your Home

There are several things you can do to prevent unwanted guests in your home — yet sometimes pests can still find a way in. Below are some easy tips on keeping pests at bay, but in the case that preventative measures don't work, you should be able to recognize the signs of when it's time to call in the professionals.

Exterminator examining a house with the homeowner.

Pest Prevention

Start by making your home a less inviting environment for critters. Following these tips will help remove temptations that draw in bugs and rodents:

  • Don't leave out food! And make sure that food stored in a pantry or cupboard is sealed well, and at least six inches off the ground.
  • Clean up the clutter. After food, pests are looking for shelter. Don't give them a chance to make a home between piles of stuff throughout your house.
  • Check your mail and packages before bringing them inside.
  • Seal up cracks. Whether in walls, windows or floors, insects can squeeze through even the tiniest of spaces.
  • Soak up standing water. Check common places where water can pool, such as under sinks, a basement, and areas around bathtubs and showers.

Home Remedies

If you have seen the occasional bug in your home, pesticides can resolve the problem when used safely. Always check the labels on pesticides to ensure they're designed for use around children and pets. It's recommended to purchase ready-to-use products — just be sure to know how to properly dispose of the container and unused contents.

Signs to Call a Professional

If prevention efforts and store-bought products don't do the trick, it may be time to consider bringing in backup. Here are things to watch out for:

  • Small sounds throughout the house, especially scratching and rustling noises in the walls and ceilings.
  • Several sightings of the same pest. If there's one, that typically means there's more that you can't see.
  • Property damage, such as small gnawing marks on furniture, holes in clothing and thin cracks along the walls.

Finding the Right Pest Control Service

In addition to cracking down on a current problem, hiring a professional service can also be a preventative measure. Not only can they spray your home or surrounding area on a regular basis, but they can also check your home for bug temptations, termite damage and other possible risks. Be sure to do your homework before hiring a service:

  • Avoid hiring exterminators on the spot that show up at your door offering a free inspection - do some background research on the company first, and make sure their pricing is competitive.
  • Ask friends and family what services they use to get a short list of potential companies.
  • Check with the State Department of Agriculture or your State Attorney General to see if there are any complaints against the companies on your list.

Once thoroughly researched, call each pest control company to get bids for their services. It's a competitive field, so let the agency work to get your business. Ask to get the bid in writing before signing any contracts.

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