Carpenter ant destruction found in studs due to rot. ‘Galleries’ are tunnels chewed out by worker ants to allow the Queen to lay eggs within and grow their nest. (Photo credit: Sonal Nagla)

Carpenter ant destruction found in studs due to rot. ‘Galleries’ are tunnels chewed out by worker ants to allow the Queen to lay eggs within and grow their nest. (Photo credit: Sonal Nagla)

Eliminate unwanted guests by keeping pests out of your home

There are a number of easy steps you can take to keep your home free from pests

By Sonal Nagla

Many people have experienced an army of ants marching through their kitchen, or seen a mouse scamper across the living room late at night. It’s inevitable, since pests like to occupy the same living space as us. However, if we make our homes inaccessible or unwelcoming, these pests will not have a chance to invade.

Pests need food, water, and shelter. By eliminating these types of resources around your home, you can be on your way to being pest-free.

Rodents are always looking for a warm place to create a home if food sources are nearby. Avoid keeping bird seed/food out in your yard, as this will attract them in the first place. Keep grasses and bushes short, and trim around the perimeter of your home to discourage harbourage zones. Store stacks of firewood away from your home’s perimeter.

All vents around the home should have metal screens to prevent entry. Do not keep pet food in bowls outdoors or by primary exit doors. Rodents have a keen sense of smell, and will gain entry through an open door. All exit doors/patio doors should have tight seals and should be kept closed to deter rodents from coming through.

Ants live in large colonies and have specific jobs in their colony. The worker ants’ main purpose is to collect food for the group, so clean up all sugar spills immediately and regularly clean under your stove and fridge for debris. Grease spills and even wet pet food is fair game, so ensure your pet dishes are washed and cleaned up regularly.

Remove all rotten wood debris, and repair any rot around structural areas of your home, as they attract Carpenter ants. They can be quite destructive if they nest inside.

Flies can be highly annoying, and can also carry a series of diseases. Ensure all your windows, patio doors, and exit doors have screens. Clean up all dropped fruit under trees regularly, and keep your yard free of dog waste. Keep lids closed on all garbage and recycling bins, and wash them out regularly.

Spiders love nesting around undisturbed areas of the home. Use a long broom to remove all webbing around skylights, windows, and basement areas. Regularly doing this will change the minds of the spiders and encourage them to seek other habitats, and they will remove themselves from your living space. Keeping other insects out of your home will also deter spiders from your home, as they will seek out other habitats for food.

An exterminator since 2001 and a graduate of Biology from Simon Fraser University, Sonal loves educating others on pest management. She resides in Ashcroft and can be reached at (250) 574-7943 or at redfoxexterminating@shaw.ca.



editorial@accjournal.ca

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