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Published on September 24th, 2015

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Pest proof your home

Pests can make your life miserable and your home inhabitable. Treat the problem before it gets completely out of hand.
by Reyna Mathur

All houses are attacked by pests at some point in time. While some infestations are minor and can be handled swiftly, others remain hidden for some time and quickly become unmanageable.

The problem normally starts with the entry of ants, which are then followed by cockroaches. In houses that are not dusted regularly and which are located in areas of dense traffic and construction activity, there will be an abundance of dust mites on the furniture and clothes. After cockroaches settle in and begin to multiply, they will be followed by lizards. In the meantime, if bed bugs have entered the home, they wreak their own havoc.

Don’t subject yourself to this torture. Once pests make an entry into the home, it takes a lot of effort and money to clean out the house in its entirety. It is not a problem that goes away forever after one bout, you have to be on your vigil. But if you take the right steps on time, you can save yourself a lot of trouble later.

This is what you should do:

Examine all wet areas. The wet areas of the home are the bathroom, toilet, wash basin and kitchen sink. Moisture is omnipresent in these areas, however much you try to keep them clean and dry. However, your cleaning routine in these areas should include a strong disinfectant cleaner. Wipe down all surfaces at least twice a week to discourage fungal growth, and spray all water traps with insect killers thrice a week at night. Cockcroaches tend to come out of these traps from water pipes, so they should be discouraged at the earliest. If there are any places that remain moist even without direct contact with water, have them checked for hidden leakages. Wet areas breed vegetation, mosquitoes, and certain types of bugs and worms, and are most prone to attack.

Enlist the help of a pest control agency. The first line of attack should always be launched by a good pest control system involving sprays, gels and powders. A basic pest control clean-up will comprise three rounds of spraying and powder-treating all vertical and some horizontal surfaces of the home with chemicals to repel ants, bugs, dust mites, cockroaches and lizards. Bed bug infestations will have to checked every 10 days for a month with intensive sprays in the affected areas. Borer infestations are normally controlled by special anti-borer sprays and gels with two spells of treatment. If you have rats in the house, you will require a multi-pronged strategy requiring sprays, foods laced with poison, adhesive surfaces to which the animal will adhere, and also rat traps. Explain the situation in detail to the pest control company, and they will suggest the course of treatment to you.

Bird-proof your windows. Birds are not pests, but when allowed to enter the home, they can cause infestations. Of the birds present in the cities, pigeons are the most prone to enter the homes looking for nesting places. Their droppings contain carbon compounds that cause respiratory disorders in humans and pets, and their feathers contain dust mites. Too often we ignore birds’ feathers that blow into our homes with the breeze, but we must get rid of them at once because they house several bacteria that can cause allergies and pests. A simple remedy is to install a wire mesh on your windows so that birds cannot get in. When you leave water outside the windows for the birds to drink, be sure to examine the area every day, since crows have a tendency to drop hard food like animal bones and tough rotis inside the water to soften them. This gives rise to a column of ants and bugs that are attracted to the carcass and which soon enter the home.

Examine your pets for ticks and mites. Dogs and cats have hidden ticks and mites inside their fur, and these soon multiply if the pet’s skin is not cleaned thoroughly. Chemists and pet shops stock several sprays and dips to clean out mites, and you can also invest in a firm comb to remove the animals hiding in the fur. You must get rid of these animals at the earliest, because over time, they can also infest your furniture and wherever the pet is accustomed to sleeping. They can also pose a danger to very young children who constantly play with the pet.

(Picture courtesy www.in.all.biz. Image is used for representational purpose only)

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