What To Do When Pests Infest Your Home


Brown and white mouse sitting on concrete next to grass
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Discover how to handle unwelcome insects and pests in your home and how to prevent future infestations.

If you’re a homeowner, chances are that you’ve experienced a pest problem at one point or another. Oftentimes you won’t see the critter itself. Instead you’ll likely find clues of their presence around your home, such as evidence of chewing on food packaging or wires, trash strewn about and/or droppings on counters and floors. You might hear noises, like squeaking or scratching, in your walls or attic. Or perhaps you might smell offensive odors. All are signs of unwelcome visitors in your home. If you notice or suspect insects or animal pests, here’s what to do to address the immediate problem and prevent future infestations.

Step 1: Get rid of pests

First, remove the pests. Mice and ants can typically be eradicated with DIY measures such as poison bait and traps. When using poisons and traps, be sure to keep them out of reach of children and pets.

If you have an extreme insect infestation, encounter a potentially dangerous animal such as a raccoon, squirrel or skunk, or simply find dealing with pests too gross to handle, consider calling an exterminator or professional wildlife removal specialist.

In addition to treating insect infestations or trapping and removing the animal, a professional can help identify how pests are entering your home and recommend measures to prevent them from coming back.

Step 2: Prevent future infestations

Step two includes several measures to prevent future pest infestations. Make sure you do the following:

Block entryways for pests

Insects and rodents don’t need much space to find their way into your home. Go around the exterior of your home and seal any holes that could allow pests to enter. Steel wool for gaps and caulk for patching holes are two simple and effective ways to keep out pests.

Clear away food crumbs and seal stored food

Keep all surfaces free from food crumbs. Seal food in containers with tight-fitting lids. Keep indoor trash covered.

Keep trash covered

Your trash is a tasty buffet for many critters. Both loose and bagged trash is an invitation to rummage for raccoons, rats, opossums and coyotes. Keep garbage in a trash can with a tight fitting lid. If necessary, place the trash can someplace critters can’t access, like a garage or shed.

Reconsider feeding the birds

Feeding birds is a wonderful pastime. However, birdseed also attracts rodents. At least until you get a pest infestation under control, stop feeding outdoor birds.

Consumers helps thousands of members finance land, first and second homes, and home improvement projects each year. We’d love to help you with a mortgage or home equity line of credit; contact us online or call us at 800.991.2221.

Consumers home loans

We’d love to help you with a mortgage or home equity line of credit.

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