Are you unknowingly inviting pests into your home?

We all have that place that in our homes we don’t use, which we use as storage for all the things we are not using. These belongings are often left untouched for long periods and these hiding places become perfect spots for pests to nest and breed. When food sources are added to the equation pests breed abundantly.

When we mention the state of the home it is not just an inside issue but also goods that are stored on the outside of your home, in the garage, up against the house and underneath the house.

Holding onto certain items is fine; however there is a fine line that can be quickly crossed between holding onto items, clutter and hoarding.

Warning Signs

  • Rooms are becoming full and you are not using them as much
  • You hear complaints from a member of your family that you are keeping far too much junk.
  • You can’t depart with your possessions
  • Out of date and contaminated food is increasing
  • You are finding it hard to keep clean
  • Family stop visiting
  • Pets are taken over the house.
  • People believe your house is becoming a fire hazard
  • You find you have a pest infestation. Maybe rats, mice, flies, fleas dust mites, cockroaches and silverfish

Bedroomclutter

As you can see from the photos above there is a great chance for pests coming into your home if it gets to this stage. The photos 5-9 are indicative more of hoarding than just clutter.

Hoarding as many of us would have seen from TV shows such as HoardersHow Clean Is Your House and Intervention is a psychological issue not a cleanliness issue. This post is not going to go into the depths of hoarding and why people become hoarders, it is more as a general warning that clutter can introduce pests into your home.

Many times pest infestations are not noticeable until they are disturbed. This can happen during renovations or an extensive clean up.

Whenever items have been stored for a while, it gives the pests a safe area to live and breed, and once you have disturbed these “safe” areas pests will become apparent.

I recently noticed this when a neighbour who had building materials stored in the backyard for 8 years began clearing out this area, the night after the clean up we begun to have issues with large cockroaches, spiders, rats and mice.

Reducing Potential Pest Threats In Your Home

Internally

  • Do not Keep paper products, such as letters, boxes etc in your kitchen as they can create an ideal hiding, harbouring & breeding spots for cockroaches.
  • Check store bought products for weevils etc.
  • Regularly clean and check your cupboards for signs of pantry moths
  • Wipe away crumbs and food residue
  • Wipe up any spills instantly
  • Clean the floor daily
  • Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink
  • Wipe down bottles
  • Store food properly
  • Clear the drain, slow moving or blocked drains should be dealt with quickly
  • Ensure you bin has a tight fitting lid
  • Wash garbage containers regularly
  • Rinse recyclables
  • Look under furniture for any food especially fruit scraps
  • Don’t leave beverage bottles, cans, glasses laying around
  • Tie up and remove garbage from the kitchen daily
  • Keep food wrapped in plastic or in the refrigerator
  • On hotter days bags of potatoes and onions are quicker to go bad, rotting potatoes and onions will attract fruit flies
  • Keep pantry shelves clean of all drips and spills
  • Fix leaking taps as soon as possible

Externally

  • Don’t store wood near or up against the house
  • Cut back shrubs and overhanging trees
  • Avoid having standing water around
  • Check or install fly screens
  • Keep lawns neat, tidy and mowed
  • Manage exterior lighting is important to prevent insect problem

Pets

  • Use a good flea treatment & shampoo  (vet recommended)
  • Vacuum regularly
  • Wash your pets bedding weekly