Unwanted Housemates

As I was wiping my kitchen counter, I suddenly noticed that what I thought was just a coffee ground, was walking away from me. It was in fact one of those tiny, “sugar ants” that seem to appear every late spring and no matter how much ant bait I put out, always seem to thrive. It got me thinking about all the unwanted housemates that we have and tolerate and about the ones we won’t tolerate. Every person is different with their threshold of creepy crawlies too. I am trying to convince my sister-in-law to buy a home in a more urban area because she hates spiders. She killed a gorgeous wolf spider with babies on its back the other day. The outpouring of support for her killing it was much more than those, like me, who opposed it. I sent her a list of simple pest control so she could try and avoid killing creatures in the future.

Don’t Let Them Come In

Do the best you can to not let them come in. This means filling gaps that you can find on the outside of the house. If it looks like a hole, it probably is a hole. A good seal method is to stuff the gaps with copper mesh, then use a foam sealant. Also, make sure that window and door screens don’t have any wide or broken areas. You won’t be able to stop every little creature but this will help make it much harder for them to come in. Check weather stripping on doors. Make sure it is in working order and makes a tight fit with a closed door. This will not only help keep the bugs away but will improve heating and cooling in the home as well.

Clean the Basement

If you have an older home with a basement or an area around your furnace and water heater, make sure that it is free of cobwebs. Keep basement windowsills clean and add a humidifier to the area. This method should see a drastic reduction of spiders in a few weeks time. It can also help for other crawling creatures as well.

Alternative Methods

Once you have done what you can to not let the creatures in, it’s time to deter the ones living inside to leave or die. There are a lot of humane methods so if you are like me and don’t like having chemicals around, because of children or pets, check out the list of options on DIY. A lot has to do with vinegar, water, coffee ground, corn meal, and banana peels. I have also learned that spiders don’t like onions – me either!

These few tips to help keep creatures out also leads to what to look for while looking at a new home. Take a walk through the basement. Check the outside to see how many holes you see. How are the window screens and weather stripping? Another big sign is plants, trees, or bushes touching the side of the house. Just a few things to take into consideration when buying a new home or preparing one to sell.