10 things you might be doing that attract pests to your home
1- Lighting is a major consideration when considering flying pests. If bats are the issue, turning on the light so they can’t sleep soundly may be the answer. If you are dealing with gnats, turning off the lights will stop them from swarming them. In addition to the presence of light or the absence of light, the type of light makes a difference as well. Where lights are essential, lean toward yellow florescent or yellow LED lights, which attract fewer pests than the white counter part.
2-Grass clipping piles provide excellent places for yard pests, especially yard rodents, to build nests and hide. In the presence of fallen snow, yard trimmings can be nice little insulated huts for the pests and keep them protected all winter long. Short-term piles are not a big deal, but the longer they stick around, the higher the risk rises.
3-Leaving stagnant water out (bird baths, pop lids, water dishes, etc.) is one of the most overlooked errors in pest management. Pests need water and more water means more pests can live comfortably. In addition some are dependent on standing water e.g. mosquitoes to reproduce. In these instances, it does not take very long at all for a mosquito population to erupt from a bottle cap lid. Change water often and where possible, keep the water treated.
4-Garbage containment can be more of a complex issue than one would initially think. Storing inside for too long opens up the door for small flies, rodents, ants, etc., storing it in the garage increases heat and humidity and can increase the chance of small flies, large flies, maggots, rodents, and wildlife rummaging through it if not sealed well. When storing outside, it is susceptible to flies, rodents, wildlife, etc. The best thing to do is to keep the garbage in closeable bags inside a closable receptacle where a few pests will not be unsightly or bother people.
5-Tree limbs and bushes touching home along with long grass or an unkempt yard can be a major contributor to pest population development and home infiltrations. Twigs and branches touching or overhanging a home give great access to squirrels and other wildlife as well as ants. Excessive growth in the yard can provide breading grounds for wildlife, rodents, insects and allow them to avoid detection until populations are larger.
6-Cooking odors that waft from windows, vents, garage cooking setups, grill setups outside or anywhere else around the home can be attractive to wildlife. While this is not typically a large concern, in some cases it may be and the risk increases with the length of time that food remnants and smells linger.
7-Pets require extra food to be stored and can cause additional crumb piles to develop which are delicious for pests. In addition, dogs and cats are susceptible to picking up fleas and ticks and bringing them into the home. Pets are not inherently a problem, but it is important to keep in mind proper grooming and care when determining where pets may venture off to.
8-High humidity inside often is undetected by people living comfortably, but a few percentage points difference can cross the threshold to an environment becoming suitable for unwanted pests. If pests such as foreign grain beetles, cockroaches or other humidity dependent pests arrive, decrease the humidity levels to make a big impact.
9-Open windows and doors seem to be an obvious way for pests to enter, but they get left open more often than people realize. Small amounts of time when they get propped open is ample time for quick hit invasions to occur. In some instances, people assume it is fine to leave the window open because there is a screen blocking infiltration, but many insects can still squeeze between the edge of the screen and the frame. Also, it is important to inspect the screens regularly to ensure they are not bent and that they fit properly.
10-One of the most overlooked (and difficult to control) situations is what surrounds your home or what people around you are doing. This may be children, neighbors, spouse, visitors, etc. This may be a marsh or lake that was attractive when buying the home, but is overly attractive to pests. When analyzing regular pest situations, do not rule out this line of thinking. There are often simple barriers or adjustments that can be made to counteract the pest conducive element.