Ultimately, the best way to manage pest problems is to prevent them before they occur. The basic premise behind prevention is to deny pests access to food, moisture and shelter. There are a number of things a homeowner/building manager can do to minimize the risk of potential infestations in the home:
- Keep all kitchen areas (including floors) clean and tidy. Kitchen appliances should be kept free of spills and crumbs.
- Kitchen cabinets and storage shelves should be cleaned regularly and foods such as cereal, flour, and dog food should be stored in resealable containers.
- Periodically sweep and vacuum floor areas in the kitchen, under furniture, and around dining areas.
- Keep garbage areas clean. Garbage should be stored in sealed containers and disposed of regularly.
- Cracks, crevices and other gaps around doors and windows should be sealed. Doors and windows should always be kept closed or well screened.
- Pipes and utility areas around the building foundation should be checked for leaks, cracks, and gaps. Seal any cracks or holes on the outside of your building including those around utilities and pipes.
- Leaky faucets and plumbing should be fixed since they can create moisture problems, which in turn, will be attractive to certain pests.
- Basements, attics, and crawl spaces should be kept well ventilated and dry. The use of a dehumidifier and/or sump pump will aid this process.
- Inspect boxes, grocery bags, and other packaging before bringing them inside or into storage. Do not store paper bags inside the building.
- Trim tree branches, shrubbery, and ornamental plants so they do not touch the building.
- Keep wood debris, tree stumps, and leaf litter away from the building. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the building and 5" off the ground.