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Keeping up with those pesky pests around your home — spiders, mosquitos, mice and more

By Carrie Nichols
Special to KyForward

Having a house of your own all to yourself can be great; after all, most of us are fans of having more space for our stuff, and a big expansive yard. However, all of that does come at a price; maintaining a house is not only more costly than when you’re living in an apartment, but it also takes more time.

For instance, keeping up with pests around your home is not easy if you’ve got a big house. Don’t worry, though – we’ll give you some of the basic steps you need to take on a regular basis in order to keep these nasty things out.

Sealing gaps

The most important thing when it comes to preventing pests from coming in is – preventing them from coming in, literally.

Take a thorough look around your household and search for any gaps you think pests could exploit. And sure, you should start off by looking at bigger gaps in your garage and attic. But after that, make sure you don’t miss any tiny unsealed gaps; especially where pipes and electric lines enter your home. Pests like mice and bugs absolutely adore such gaps. So, if you want your pest control to be up to snuff, you need to expand your home’s foam insulation, or simply caulk the gaps until you’re sure that they’re closed.


Many people have firewood in their homes; either for a cozy fireplace or for a nice fire pit in the backyard. But while you may need to have it nearby, you shouldn’t keep in your home if you want to keep pests out. Firewood is practically a magnet for all kinds of pests. Store it at a distance of 20-feet from your house at a minimum.

Mosquito issues

When it comes to pests, we detest mosquitoes most, especially during the summer. But if your bonfire in the backyard is becoming particularly bothersome because of them, don’t despair; just throw some sage or rosemary on the coals and the smell will keep them away. That’s one of the better homemade repellents against mosquito nuisances.

Check your screens

If you’re living in a house in a suburban or rural area; you’ve probably got screen doors or similar barriers to protect you against bothersome pests. However, we advise checking these thoroughly from time to time, because they can easily get torn in hard-to-see spots.

And just one big hole in your screen is enough for flying pests to have a way in. But don’t worry – if the frame of the screens itself isn’t too damaged, you’ll be able to repair the net easily in just a couple of minutes.

Ant deterrents

Did you ever notice that ants actually leave a trail behind them when they migrate? That’s no freak accident either; they do so to make it easier for their peers to find their way to food from the colony. And if you spot this train somewhere in your home, you’re definitely looking at an ant infestation.

In this situation, destroying the ant colony may not be enough, as they’ll build a new one. However, you’d do well to wash their trail away with water and vinegar; this will make it harder for the ants to find a way around your household, and ultimately make them move out for good.

Using a copper mesh

If you don’t have any caulk handy, and you need to plug some holes – there are still alternatives you can use. Just take some copper mesh, and stuff it in the gaping hole with a screwdriver. Then, apply some foam sealant if you’ve got it. This will also help keep any pests out of your home.

Fruit flies

Many of us deal with fruit flies that invade our kitchen spaces. You can easily do away with these pests, by pouring just a little vinegar into a tiny bowl. Then, cover this bowl using some plastic wrapping, but punch a few holes in it with a pencil. That way, the fruit flies will fly towards the vinegar and get inside, but it’ll be much harder for them to get out.

Basement spiders

If you don’t maintain your basement on a regular basis, this area will probably become infested with spiders; they love damp and cold areas. However, did you know that there was an easy way of getting rid of them? Just install a dehumidifier downstairs and keep the humidity level at 40%. Then, start doing regular daily sweeps of all cobwebs and spiders you can see. Within a week or two, all of the spiders will die out and the rest will migrate elsewhere.

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