Don’t Welcome Bugs Into Your Home!

— Written By Bill Hanlin and last updated by JoAnne Gryder

Now that winter is arriving, people will be staying inside more to escape the cold. Some homeowners will find that bugs have also managed to find their way inside. People may be tempted to use a pesticide to control these bugs, however homeowners should remember that pesticides might be harmful to humans too. Pesticides should be used cautiously and only as a last resort.

One way to reduce pesticide use is to deny the pest entry into the home. Sealing up cracks and putting screening over vents will help reduce pest numbers. You should also inspect boxes and bags, especially ones that held food items, and discard any containers that will not be needed.

Also inspect any used furniture that is brought into the house. Bed bugs, in particular, can hide on used couches and mattresses, and can be very difficult to deal with once they are brought into the home.

Now is a good time to go through the pantry and inspect food items that have been there for a while. Flour, crackers, and other grain-based products are preferred food for grain beetles and cereal moths. Infestations can occur even if the package has not been opened so make sure to inspect everything, including dog food. Controlling these pests may be as easy as throwing the infested product away and placing grain-based products in airtight containers.

If the infestation is small, vacuuming the pest up is better then using pesticides. Remember to throw the bag away as soon as possible to keep the pest from finding its way back out. Another way to take care of pests is the old tried and true method of using a rolled up newspaper to dispatch the insect.

pest trapIf you feel that the infestation is too large and an insecticide is needed, then you have a couple of options. Baits, sticky traps, and insecticides like boric acid are ideal for certain pests and can be placed where they will not come into contact with humans. Another option is to hire a licensed pest control operator that is trained to apply pesticides in a safe, effective manner.