Pest Control Tips for New Homeowners: From Preventing to Eradicating the Pests

While home ownership is an exciting journey, it also comes with its fair share of responsibilities. One of the key challenges you may face is dealing with uninvited guests like roaches, ants, and rodents — amongst other pests. 

These pests are not just a nuisance but can pose significant health risks and damage your property. 

Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do about it, and they’re relatively easy to take care of.

Why is pest control important?

Going beyond the obvious — they’re gross and nasty — there are a few other considerations as to why pest control is essential, especially for new homeowners.

  • Health risks. Pests like cockroaches and rodents are carriers of various pathogens and can contaminate your food and living spaces, leading to health issues. Even if you don’t see them, the pathogens are still present.
  • Property damage. This is a big one for new homeowners. You might have some damage without even recognizing it. Rodents, in particular, can chew through wires, insulation, and even structural components, causing significant damage to your home. A good home inspection should find any major issues.
  • Peace of mind. On top of all that, knowing your home is free from pests allows you to enjoy your living space without worry. After all, it’s your new home, not theirs.

Nobody likes sharing their space with pests, so no matter what your reason, getting rid of pesky rodents, bugs, and other pests should be a priority when you first move in.

Identifying the culprits.

Sometimes, finding the pests is the most significant part of the battle. Some leave minimal trace but can still wreak havoc on your home.

  • Roaches. These pests are often found in kitchens and bathrooms and are attracted to food remnants and moisture. Look for droppings, egg cases, and a musty odor.
  • Ants. They typically form trails to food sources. Watch for ant paths and check for nests near your home’s foundation.
  • Rodents. Signs include droppings, gnaw marks, and strange noises within walls, especially at night.
  • Termites. These wood-eating insects can cause significant structural damage. Evidence includes wood that sounds hollow when tapped, discarded wings, and mud tubes on exterior walls.
  • Bed bugs. These small, elusive bugs are often found in mattresses and furniture. Signs include tiny blood spots on bedding, itchy bites, and small brownish or reddish dots.
  • Silverfish. Preferring damp, cool areas like basements, they feed on paper and fabric. Look for yellowish stains, scales, and fecal matter resembling tiny pepper grains.
  • Moths. Particularly pantry moths, they infest food items. Indicators are webbing in food containers, larvae in food products, and adult moths near light sources.
Mud Tubes from Termites on Deck of Home

Of course, if you’re simply finding odd droppings or messes that could be from one of these pests, you could always call in a professional pest control specialist who will have the tools and know-how to find what it is and where it is.

Preventive measures for safeguarding your new home.

My mom used to tell me that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The same holds true when it comes to pest control for new homeowners.

These are some of the best ways to keep pests from invading your space—

  • Seal entry points. Check for gaps around doors, windows, and utility pipes. Sealing these can prevent pests from entering your home.
  • Keep it clean. Regular cleaning reduces food sources for pests. Pay special attention to kitchens and dining areas.
  • Proper food storage. Store food in airtight containers. This is particularly crucial for grains, cereals, and pet food.
  • Manage waste. Ensure your trash cans have tight-fitting lids and are emptied regularly.
  • Landscaping. Trim overhanging branches and bushes that can act as bridges for pests into your home.

If you follow these tips for preventing the pests, you’ll be way ahead of the game.

Getting rid of the pests.

So you already have a problem? Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to take care of the pests.

  • Baits and traps. Utilize various traps and baits for rodents and insects. Glue traps, snap traps for rodents, and bait stations for ants and roaches are effective.
  • Insecticides. Apply insecticides in targeted areas. Be cautious with application, especially in homes with pets and children.
  • Natural remedies.
    • Diatomaceous earth for bed bugs, ants, and roaches.
    • Vinegar solution for ants.
    • Essential oils like peppermint and lavender are repellents.
    • Salt for taking care of rodents and mice.
  • Boric acid. Use for roaches and ants. It’s a slow-acting poison that pests spread within their colonies.
  • Pheromone traps. Effective for moths and some beetles, capturing adults and preventing reproduction.
  • Ultrasonic pest repellers. Electronic devices that emit a high-frequency sound to deter pests.
  • Mothballs. It is for warding off moths, but use it with caution due to toxic vapors.

Some of these work better than others, depending on your region.

When to call the professionals.

If DIY methods don’t suffice or if you’re facing a significant infestation, it’s time to call in professional pest control services. 

They can provide customized solutions and ongoing prevention plans. 

Even if you don’t have a problem, some of the solutions they provide are great for homeowners and typically cost around $50/month for preventative services.

One of the best things about using a pest control service is if something does pop up, they’ll take care of it free of charge.

Keep the pests out of your home!

Pest control is essential to maintaining a healthy and safe home environment.

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you might be surprised that this is your responsibility, not a landlord’s.

Fortunately, it’s easy to get ahead of any problems.

You can protect your home from these unwanted invaders by taking preventive measures and acting quickly at the first sign of pests.

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