Get rid of the household critters - Recipesupermart

Get rid of the household critters

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In all honesty, it’s impossible to bug proof your home completely. Like it or not, some insects will find a way into your house. But you don’t have to make it easy for them! Invest a little time in these home maintenance and housekeeping tasks, and you will greatly reduce your chances of a major insect infestation.

When attempting to bug proof your home, you need to do two basic things: prevent insects and spiders from getting inside, and eliminate bug habitat in your house. Your goals are to keep as many bugs out as possible, and to make your house inhospitable to the few that find their way in.

1. Install and maintain screens on all doors and windows.
If you don’t have screen doors on your home, install them. Repair or replace any torn or damaged window screens. Use fine mesh screening to prevent all but the tiniest insects from entering your home.

2. Seal around all doors.
If air and light can pass through, bugs can get in. Install tight-fitting thresholds and door sweeps to the bottoms of exterior doors. Use door seals to fill the gap around the sides and top of each door, too.

3. Seal cracks in your home’s foundation, exterior walls, and fascia boards.
Any crack in the exterior walls of your home is a welcome sign to insects. Grab a tube of caulk and inspect your home from top to bottom. Seal any cracks you find.

4. Seal around utility lines and appliance vents.
Insects may enter your home through tiny gaps around your dryer vent, gas line, or even telephone line. Caulk crevices on the outside of your home. You might also want to seal these areas from the inside using a spray foam product.

5. Install critter-proof mesh on vents in attics and crawl spaces.
Raccoons, squirrels, mice, and even birds may make themselves at home in crawl spaces and attics if you don’t install barriers to keep them out. These animals may carry mites, fleas, or other pests that will then infest your home.

6. Eliminate moisture by fixing leaks.
Most insects (except for those that live in arid environments) require a certain amount of humidity to survive. Any source of moisture can attract them. Fix any plumbing leaks, however minor, promptly. Even condensation on pipes can drip and create suitable places for bugs to live. If your basement or crawl space takes on water during heavy rains, you’re asking for insect problems. Install a proper drainage system, and run dehumidifiers if needed.

7. Keep a tidy kitchen.
Where there’s food and water, bugs will happily make themselves at home. Do all you can to keep your kitchen clean. Wipe up crumbs, sweep or vacuum the floor, and clean up spills right away. Don’t leave dishes in the sink overnight. Clean out the toaster and microwave regularly. Scrub down your stove-top every day. Throw away food scraps and packages.

8. Keep food sealed up tight.
If you have a kitchen pest problem, you’ll need to take drastic steps to eliminate food sources for the offending insects. Store cereals, grains, rice, and other pantry items in air tight containers. Keep opened food containers in the refrigerator.

9. Get rid of clutter.
Insects need places to hide, and a cluttered home is a bug’s paradise. Recycle unneeded boxes and newspapers promptly. Keep laundry in clothes hampers. Keep your floor clear of belongings, and put things away after you use them.

10. Clean up after your pets.
Some bugs like pet food, and others like pet waste. Clean your pet’s food dishes regularly, and don’t leave extra pet food accessible. Store dry food in air tight containers. Scoop and clean your cat’s litter box daily. Wash your pet’s bed or favourite blanket regularly.

11. Take the garbage out frequently.
If you can smell it (even a little), it’s going to attract bugs. In fact, insects are much more sensitive to odours than we are, so even if you can’t smell it, it may attract bugs. If you’re really worried about insect pests in your home, empty your garbage often. Line your cans with plastic garbage bags, and tie them tight before you take the bags out for pick-up.

12. Rinse recyclables thoroughly.
Your recycling can is a smorgasbord for bugs. Soda cans, beer bottles, and pet food cans will all attract insects if they aren’t rinsed out thoroughly.

13. Scrub your trash bins.
Even with your garbage in plastic bags, there’s bound to be a spill or torn bag now and then. Scrub out all of your trash bins to eliminate smells and sticky substances that may attract insects. Several times per year, use a solution of bleach to clean your outdoor cans thoroughly, especially if you keep them close to your house.

14. Clean up your yard.
Mulch, leaf litter, and garden debris can all harbour insects. Keep mulch away from your home’s foundation, and clean up any accumulated organic matter. Mow your lawn regularly, and keep it short near your house. Pull annuals out at the end of the growing season, and trim back perennials as appropriate in the fall.

15. Prune trees and shrubs.
When trees and shrubs come in contact with your home, they function as highways for insects on the move. Keep tree branches pruned so they don’t rest on your roof. Prune shrubs away from windows and doors.

Find out if you have cockroaches. Cockroaches (see picture) are generally medium to large sized insects, although in some parts of the world they are large. They have spiny legs and long antennae. If you see even one roach, you’ve undoubtedly got a lot more. The problem is they generally hide during the day, so if you can’t find any of the insects, check cupboards and pantries for their droppings — tiny brown slime stains or pellets.

Figure out where they’re coming from. If you see cockroaches, follow them to figure out where they go. You might need to do a little sleuthing. Check all around the house for cracks and holes through which roaches may enter. Roaches often enter through drains or vents, so you can’t seal up everything.

Kill the roaches. There are a variety of things you can do yourself to help kill the cockroaches. Some of the better regarded solutions are listed below. Try one at a time, or try them all.

Make “Roach Food”:

One part powdered (not granular) boric acid (sometimes sold as a roach-killing powder, but often available in pharmacies (for making anti-pinkeye eyewash), one part white flour, one part granulated white sugar. The sugar baits it, the flour makes it stick, and the boric acid kills them. Place in the backs of drawers and cabinets, under refrigerator, stove, etc. Expect at least 3 cycles of disappearance/reemergence of progressively smaller hordes of cockroaches, lasting about 2 weeks each. Continue using boric acid till roaches are gone.
Kids, dogs, and some other pets will eat this mixture. Boric acid is not highly toxic, but is for external use ONLY, so place it where only the bugs can get it. It will cake hard in humid environments, so paper or foil trays may be needed.
Dust with boric acid, flour and cocoa (1 part acid, 2 parts flour and 1 part cocoa). Try P.F. Harris Roach tablets. They contain boric acid and a lure. While still dangerous for kids and pets, this product is not as toxic as many insecticides, and the roaches aren’t repelled by it so they drag it home and feed it to their hatchlings. Dust a fine coat in cupboards, under sinks, around toilets and any cracks, corners or hollow spaces. Avoid breathing the powder; like any acid, it can irritate the lungs.
Use an insecticide spray. Get some insecticide that is labeled for use against cockroaches, and spray wherever cockroaches may be hiding or entering the house, including along walls, in cracks, and in vents. Keep pets out of the way when you are spraying, and follow all safety instructions on the product’s label.

Use cockroach bait.

Cockroach bait is either housed in a childproof case or applied as a gel and contains a slow-working poison mixed in with an attractive (for cockroaches) food. The roaches eat the poison and bring it back to the nest, where it eventually kills all the roaches. Place the bait in an area where you know cockroaches will encounter it.

Use cockroach traps.

Cockroach traps lure cockroaches in and then trap them with an adhesive. Get several of these, and place them wherever cockroaches are known to frequent.

Use water jars.

A simple and effective home-made way to lure and trap roaches is with a jar placed next to a wall, allowing the roaches to get in, but not escape. Any bait can be placed in the jar, including coffee grounds and water, but it also works with just plain water in drier climates.
Use soda bottles. Cut curved top off, invert and place into top of body so it acts like a funnel into the bottle. Tape into place. With beer in bottom, bugs enter and drown.
Ants and Lizards are good bug eaters. Ants eat termites as well. (Best if not using pesticides of course.)

Apply a liquid concentrate.

Liquid concentrates, once the exclusive domain of professional exterminators, are now being made for use by the public. The concentrate is a poison or deterrent chemical that is diluted with water and then sprayed, wiped, or mopped onto just about any surface. Concentrates can be particularly effective providing protection against re-infestation, as they usually deter roaches for 1-2 weeks or more.

Get professional grade pesticides.

Don’t go to the local home improvement store, all the stuff they sell there is weak. Search the web for it. Get something with Cypermethrin, perhaps Demon WP or something along those lines. They will kill live bugs, as well as provide a residual effect for three months. Spray it around the perimeter of your home and in places like your basement. The bugs won’t be back. The downside is that this will kill all bugs, even ones that eat roaches, like spiders and millipedes. But if you have lots of roaches, you probably don’t care.

If you buy an exterior bug spray, it will work inside much better. To spray it, put it in a spray bottle or a pump-up pressure bottle and spray the solution in the kitchen cabinets clockwise while holding your breath. Spray quickly and run out and leave the windows closed for a day.

Use a simple solution of soap and water. This, to some, is the easiest thing to do. Just make a light solution of soap (bath soap is fine) and water. You can splash this, spray this or just throw this on the roach. Just a little water will do, even 2 or 3 drops can kill, if used effectively. Ensure that it makes contact with the roaches head and lower abdomen (its belly if you can turn the roach over).

The roach will run or try to run, but will suddenly stop and die or be almost dead in one minute. It is best to throw it out as soon as possible, as it may revive. This happens because the roach breathes through its skin. The soapy water forms a thin film on the breathing pores, and effectively blocks them (surface tension), causing the roach to suffocate to death or to near death, although it could recover if the water dries up or has not touched a large percentage of its body. Try this and you will have amazing results for free.

Prevent re-infestation. A clean house is key to keeping cockroaches away.

Keep the kitchen clean. Clean up crumbs and spills promptly, and generally keep the area clean. Pay special attention to range tops, as cockroaches love grease.
Put food away. Keep food containers sealed, and don’t leave food out for extended periods — don’t even leave dirty dishes overnight.

Empty trash regularly, and keep trash away from the house.
Fix dripping faucets or leaks. Cockroaches are attracted to water.
Put naphthalene balls on corners. Roaches hate their smell.
Prevent bugs from coming up the drain. If you believe that the cockroaches are coming up your drains, pour regular, cheap bleach down the drains before leaving the house in the morning. For a stronger solution, mix 1 part borax with 3 parts bleach.
Move logs and other debris away from the outside of the house. Cockroaches love piles of wood and other convenient hiding places, and as the weather turns colder, they’ll migrate inside the house to keep warm.
Seal cracks in exterior walls. Keep roaches out of the house by blocking their entrance.
Seal cracks everywhere you can inside your house. This takes time, but the payoff is great, because you eliminate most of their favourite hiding/breeding places. You’ll need a lot of caulking, so use the big tubes with a caulking gun. Fill every crack inside every cabinet; fill the cracks on both sides of floor, door, and window mouldings; fill all openings around pipes in bathrooms and kitchens. This makes a big difference and makes the whole house feel cleaner.

You can find many professional products online. Professional baits, glue traps with pheromones, and professional sprays are far more effective then products bought at a local home store. Cy-Kick CS is a micro-encapsulated product that is very effective against roaches.
If you buy an exterior bug spray, it will work inside much better. To spray it, put it in a spray bottle or a pump-up pressure bottle and spray the solution in the kitchen cabinets clockwise while holding your breath. Spray quickly and run out and leave the windows closed for a day.

Call a professional.

If the above methods don’t work, call a pest-control expert. Exterminators are licensed to use stronger chemicals and to apply chemicals more widely, and they can do so while keeping your family safe.

Diatomaceous earth is safe around children and pets will kill bedbugs and cockroaches. Can be bought at any major hardware chain or farmers supply store.

Store pots, pans and dishes upside down so you won’t have cockroach droppings or eggs inside them.
If you see at least one during the daylight or after switching on the lights, this means you have a problem. Fix it as soon as possible or you will have an extra guest at your next dinner party.

Natural roach repellents are peppermint oil, cucumber peel, citrus, catnip, garlic, and clove oil.
It’s debatable whether or not stepping on a female cockroach will destroy the eggs. Eggs are laid in a thick casing called an ootheca, and will most likely not survive if the female is killed, but it’s smart to clean it all off your shoe anyway.

If you do smash a cockroach be sure to thoroughly clean the surface around the bug and dispose of or thoroughly clean whatever you killed it with.

To dispose of dead cockroaches, flush them down the toilet so it’s out of your house.
Baits and traps are most effective if placed in several areas, particularly near known roach paths or where droppings are present. Try not to disturb the area too much by cleaning, or the roaches may reroute their trips.

Seal open cereal packages by placing the whole inner bag inside a zip-lock bag so it’s completely sealed, then slide it back into the box. Don’t allow crumbs to accumulate around the sealed bag inside the box because a cockroach can live on crumbs for a long time. Chip clips or other types of clips won’t keep them out of your food. Do this with everything that comes in a bag or small box. Make sure flour, sugar, oatmeal, etc. is in a sealed container. These seem like simple steps, but they work very well.

Bleach effectively and quickly kills roaches.
Keep bath plugs in so they can’t come up from the drains.
Want to avoid harmful chemicals? Many traps allow you to do so, as do a wide variety of natural pest control products, ranging from boric acid to eucalyptus oil to coffee grounds. Try P.F. Harris Roach Tablets. They contain boric acid and a lure. Do some research to find out more about these options, and try them out. They may not work for all infestations, but you should be able to at least control the roach population, and most don’t cost nearly as much as chemicals.
Make your own traps by lining the inside of a Tic-Tac box with fly paper, then replace the top. Leave the little flip top open so the roaches can get in. You can also use a match box or other small box and cut holes at each end. Fly paper is much less expensive than roach traps and works the same way.

Don’t accumulate clutter. They will nest in anything from paper to clothing. This includes the garage, attic, or basement. There is no limit.

Install fluorescent light strips or tap lights inside all your kitchen cabinets and keep them turned on. Cockroaches don’t like light and it will discourage them from munching on food particles and crumbs. Another option is to leave all cabinet doors open and the kitchen lights turned on. It won’t kill them but it will make your home less inviting. Use self-adhesive shelf paper that has an insect repellent built in.

Always keep food and everything out of their way and take out your garbage before you go to bed.
Cockroaches breed incredibly quickly. Take action to get rid of them immediately, or you could find yourself with a major infestation on your hands

If you use public or community laundry facilities, wash white linens and clothing in hot water with plenty of bleach before washing your other laundry. If this isn’t possible, run one wash cycle with hot water and bleach without any laundry, then do your other laundry in the same machine. Transfer them to the dryer immediately and use the hottest setting, if possible. Place the dry clothing directly into a plastic trash bag and take it out of the facility immediately. Fold or hang them at home. Your clothes might be a bit wrinkled but you will be less likely to bring home uninvited house guests. If you must fold your clothes at the facility, spray the counter top with bleach and water. Allow it to air dry so the bleach doesn’t damage clothing. The safest way to avoid bringing roaches home in your laundry is to launder everything at home in your own washer and dryer.

For an ‘instant’ kill a spray of alcohol (either rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle or aftershave in a spray, as long as it contains alcohol) works very well. Hairspray works too.
If you’re cheap (or just lazy) and live in a small apartment, you can also use every day plastic grocery bags as an easy and inexpensive alternative to caulking. Simply find cracks and openings along floors, walls, and baseboards where the little buggers might be getting in, and stuff one or two bags along each opening to effectively “seal” it. If this doesn’t convince the roaches to find another apartment to invade, it should at least limit the area through which they can enter your space. Use the opportunity to apply other methods of killing and trapping with greater results.
Edit Warnings

Insecticides, cockroach bait and other chemicals can be extremely poisonous to people (especially children) and pets, so be sure to heed the warnings on the label, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter.
Cockroaches are known to carry many dangerous diseases. Please be very careful when making contact with them.
When you spray the solution in the kitchen cabinets, hold your breath and spray quickly. Get a pump-up pressure bottle and it works real fast. Run out and leave the unit for a day before entering.
Don’t buy large apartment unit buildings because they have the problem of the roaches moving from one unit to another after you spray. Instead buy single family homes and duplexes. You can find properties where there are several houses and maybe a duplex on a single lot. These types of properties rarely have roaches.
Edit Things You’ll Need

Insecticidal spray
Cockroach bait
Cockroach trap
Liquid concentrate
Caulk and Caulk gun, or drywall sealant
Zip-lock bags and airtight food containers
Self-adhesive shelf paper with an insect repellant
Tap lights or fluorescent light strips

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