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Keep Insects and Pests Out Without Using Chemicals

By T. Taylor

Keeping insects and other pests out of your home can sometimes be a chore. In the warm months of the year, pests are so persistent. They just keep coming back.

Well, just follow these guidelines, and you will probably keep at least 90 percent of them out. Even spraying chemicals will not keep all of them away. But this is a pretty simple procedure. It's what I do at my home, and it usually works.

Pests come in from outside
First of all, most pests come from the outside. I've said that before but I'm saying it again: Most pests come from the outside, whether it be roaches, ants, spiders, crickets, rats or mice, etc.

Unless you bring pests home from the grocery store (weevils, flour beetles, Indian meal moths) or someone else brings them into your home when they are visiting (German roaches), a surefire way to stop them is on the outside first.

It’s really a simple procedure, but you will need a few things first. Pick up some caulk at your local hardware store or home center. You may also need some of that thin sheet metal and some sheet metal cutters. All of the items are very inexpensive -- a lot cheaper than hiring a professional or buying chemicals yourself.

Take a walk around the outside of your home. Check all around your windows and doors for entry points. See all those cracks and crevices? Take the caulk and caulk around all of your windows and doors and any other place you think that insects may be entering. It doesn't take a very large space for a tiny insect to enter. Even if you think the crack is too small, caulk it anyway.

Those weep holes in your brick -- don't seal them. Just find some fine mesh screen or maybe steel wool and stuff it in the weep holes.

Keep all shrubs and trees from touching your home. Trim all hedges and shrubs away from your home by about a foot or more.

On to bigger pests
Now take a look around the outside of your home for places you may think rats or mice may be entering. It doesn't take but a quarter of an inch for a mouse or half an inch for a rat to enter.

Check around the air conditioning unit. See where the lines enter your home? There is usually a small space that is not sealed. Try using some steel wool or some sheet metal cut the right size to seal this. Don't use that spray-on foam that expands. Rats can chew right through this.

If you are able to, climb up on the roof. Check for places rats can enter. A rat can climb straight up a brick wall or come from a tree and get on your roof. Check around where the sofits may meet, or where one roof meets another or one section meets another section. There is usually a small space where rats may enter. Seal these areas with sheet metal or steel wool. No matter how many traps you put in your attic and how many rats you catch, if you don't seal these areas, more rats will enter.

Those twirling vents on your roof that are turned by the wind are entry places for rats. You don't have to remove them. Just go into your attic and place some screen across the bottom of the vents. You can use staples or nails.

Move inside
Now let’s start on the inside. Just like for the outside, use caulk around all doors and windows on the inside. Small spiders can enter around windows. Check under the window seal and seal this with caulk.

Now check under all sinks. See where the pipes come through? There is usually a space around the pipes where mice, rats, spiders, roaches and other insects can enter. Seal these spaces with steel wool or sheet metal.

Just a little caulk, sheet metal, screen and steel wool, and you will have insect- and rodent-proofed your home -- and without chemicals. The best defense is exclusion!

© T. Taylor

T. Taylor has been in the pest control industry for 11 years and has treated many homes for insects and other pests. To find out more, subscribe to his newsletter and receive a free insect identification guide:



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