Favorite Midnight Snacks for Pests – How to Keep Critters Out, by Not Inviting Them In!
Everyone knows that insecticides and rat and mouse poisons are, well, poisonous. They aren’t only poisonous to the creatures they are sold to eliminate, but they are also poisonous to humans and pets. The famous phrase, “If you build it, they will come,” has an opposite phrase too, “If you don’t build it, they won’t come.” In the case of pests, you want to avoid building a Home Depot and grocery store for them.
Integrated pest management (IPM) is a concept whereby a home owner or pest control professional look for and eliminate the food and bedding items that tiny invaders love. If you eliminate what is a attracting them, you will be more likely to be able to eliminate the pests.
Here is a list of different household pests and some of the things that they find most attractive:
Cotton: These furry little creatures love cotton as bedding, particularly the females. They will attack clothing in order to make a warm, soft nest for their tiny babies. Keep stored clothes off of the ground and in gnaw-proof containers.
Pet food: Many pet owners store their animals’ food in garages, closets and other places that humans don’t go very often. This turns into a Vegas-style, all-you-can-eat buffet for rodents. Put pet food in metal containers with tight lids.
People food in garbage: We throw away a lot of food in this country and around the world. Mice are all too happy to recycle that food into mouse food. Keep your trash cans covered tightly. Metal cans are the best choice, but very heavy duty plastics can be a pretty good deterrent.
Food: Nearly everything you eat, ants are willing to have some. They especially like sugar and fruit since it gives them lots of energy for not a lot of work. All of your food should be in sealed containers. Make sure that everything is in plastic or metal and that they lids are on tightly. Ants aren’t great at getting into tightly sealed containers, but the smallest opening is fair game.
Trash: Your trash is again a great place for ants to find a meal. Keep your trash cans clean on the outside and sealed tightly. You don’t want to be known as the ant restaurant in your town.
Paper: Everyone knows that termites eat wood, but most people don’t think that termites eat things made from wood. Be very careful about leaving magazines, newspaper, and cardboard boxes where the termites can get to them. This is especially true in basements and garages where they don’t have to travel far to get a bite to eat.
Snacks: There are a number of bugs that love to stop off in your pantry for a bite. Indianmeal and drugstore moths, sawtoothed grain and confused flour beetles are just a few of the types of creatures that will show up in your kitchen cabinets for a late night snack. They are very mobile, as most of them can fly, and they are especially interested in the snacks that you bought. Nuts, crackers, flour, etc. are all delicious for these creatures that have evolved to eat their cereal every day. Keep cabinet doors closed and every sealed up tight and you can keep from feeding a flying army.
Knowing what pests like to eat and take from your home is one of the easiest and safest ways to keep these critters at bay, without the use of pesticides and poisons. There are pests everywhere, from the heart of the big city to a country farm house. With a little bit of vigilance, you avoid having uninvited house guests snacking in your cabinets, pantry, and garbage cans.