Pest-busting Without Breaking the Budget

| February 2, 2014

kitchenIt is very disturbing for homeowners to discover that pests with two or more appendages have taken up residence in their home. Some pests, such as non-biting ants and spiders, are minor annoyances. Birds nesting in the eaves may be considered cute by some, but evidence of a termite infestation raises alarms for property owners who worry about structural damage and the costs of termite control.

Damage Control in 3 Steps

Common household pests who pose little or no danger to humans should still be addressed to prevent the infestation from spreading to other parts of the house

First, identify the type of pest involved. Take digital photos of the nest and the bugs or creatures for comparison with online images for reference. If photographing is not a safe option, observe the shape, coloring and other characteristics from a safe distance.

Next, find the access point that allowed bugs, birds and other pests to enter your home. Broken screens, deteriorated weather stripping and improper caulking on doors and windows are basic do-it-yourself repair projects that can be completed with supplies and tips from your local home improvement store. Larger creatures, such as birds and squirrels can enter your attic through holes in the roof, an open chimney flue or broken fascia. Patch the holes immediately after pests are removed.

Finally, determine if extermination and elimination are tasks you can handle on your own. Ants and roaches can be eliminated by using baits or applying poisons that are toxic to bugs regardless of their growth stage. The folks at your local home improvement store are great resources when it comes to these tasks.

Dealing with Dangerous Pests

Pests that bite should be handled carefully especially if they are known to be venomous or carry substances that are toxic or allergenic to any of the home’s occupants. A swarm of bees and the presence of a hive call for the services of extermination professionals who have the protective gear and the training required to remove the hive. Calling your county’s animal control department for advice when faced with an uninvited creature may save you the costs of hiring an exterminator because some counties maintain an in-house team specializing in nuisance wildlife removal.

Dealing with Pests that Cause Structural Damage

Some pests may not be directly hazardous to humans, but they may cause untold structural damage in the sections where they tunnel through to build their nests. For instance, early signs of a termite infestation consist of a gritty film of greyish to brownish dirt on damaged wood or mud tubes along the foundation. The presence of discarded wings that resemble fish scales is a sign of reproductive termites leaving to start a new colony. At this point, your best option is to contact a termite exterminator to determine the extent of the infestation and structural damage.

Affordable Termite Control and Pest Management Options

When it comes to termites, preventing an infestation makes financial sense. Prevent termites from entering your home by ensuring that moisture seeps away from the foundation. Grade the soil to slope away from the house and keep cellulose-rich materials such as timber, wood mulch and landscaping away from your home to limit access to termites and other pests.

Schedule an inspection by a local pest professional to determine if your home is harboring any pests. Local experts will know what to look for in terms of what types of infestation are common to your area at a particular time. Take advantage of free consultations offered by pest control companies. You are not under obligation to sign up for their services, and the inspector may offer helpful tips to handle your specific problems. In the end, a complete preventive maintenance plan may be your most affordable strategy to manage pest problems.


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Category: Home Repair

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