Having pests in your home — from insects to rodents — is something that no one wants. Although there are times that preventing pests isn’t possible because of your location, it’s a good idea to do whatever you can to stop them from getting into your home in the first place. Below are a few ways that you can protect your home against pests.

8 Tips For Protecting Your Home Against Pests

Vacuum Often

Insects, rodents, and other small critters love crumbs. One of the ways that you can prevent them from loving your home is to regularly vacuum to ensure that there is nothing tasty for them to snack on. If you spill a food item on the ground, make sure to vacuum and mop it up right away, and plan to vacuum at least once a week to ensure things stay in a state that is undesirable for pests.

Don’t Store Firewood Indoors

Firewood can hold a multitude of bugs, such as termites, which have cost Americans over $5 billion in damages. If you have a wood-burning stove inside your home, you should still store your firewood outside and at least 20 feet away from your home’s exterior. This will prevent any bugs from creeping into your home. Placing the woodpile directly against an exterior wall will give bugs an easy way to have access to your home’s exterior where they can then make their way into the home.

Keep Garage and Exterior Doors Closed

Even in the summer when you want to open your doors for a cross breeze, it’s a bad idea to keep your doors open and unguarded, especially at night. Animals like bats and skunks, which are the highest carriers of rabies in some states, might be attracted by the light or warmth of your home and be able to walk right in. Instead, open windows that are properly fitted with screens to ensure that critters and insects can’t make their way into your home. A screen door can also be used for this if you have one, just make sure that you are not giving pests an easy way into your home.

Keep Your Kitchen Clean

If you have a tendency to let dishes pile up in your kitchen, it’s only a matter of time before ants or fruit flies show up. A lot of times these kinds of pests will show up in the spring, so make sure to be extra diligent during that season to ensure that your home doesn’t become a target for insects or rodents. If you notice that you have either of those animals living in your home, make sure to try out some home remedies, of which there are a lot, and call an exterminator if those don’t work.

Set Up Bird Feeders Away From Your Home

Although bird feeders are meant for birds, they are beloved by critters of all sizes. If you’ve had issues with squirrels especially coming into your garage, attic, or crawl space, it’s a good idea to make sure that your bird feeder is located as far away from your home as possible. Although you may not be able to have as good of a view of the birds, you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble when it comes to other critters that are looking for snacks.

Keep Your Garbage Contained

Garbage attracts animals like raccoons and rodents like rats, which means that you’ll want to make sure that your garbage is contained, sealed, and stored somewhere that doesn’t give them easy access. Try to only leave your garbage can out in the open when you know the garbage truck is coming to collect the contents, and putting it out in the morning instead of the night before can also deter nocturnal animals.

When it isn’t trash day, make sure that the garbage cans are completely sealed. If an animal can get inside of it, they will remember and come back again. If it’s possible, store your sealed garbage can or cans inside of your garage or shed during the week to add an extra line of defense between wild animals and your scraps.

Make Sure Windows and Doors Are Sealed

Having your windows and doors properly sealed is an important action for many reasons — you’ll save on energy costs, avoid storm damage, and prevent an easy way in for insects and small rodents. Although a small gap in your window or door’s weatherstripping may not seem like a big deal, it can become one if an ant or ladybug finds its way inside through it. Check for any drafts coming through closed windows and doors and look into recaulking or redoing the weatherstripping on any spots where you find a hole of any size.

Keep Plants From Touching Your Home

Having bushes and trees against the exterior of your home may look nice, but it can come at the cost of a pest infestation. That’s why it’s important to stay on top of proper maintenance by cutting back any bushes, trees, or other plants that may be touching your home. When plants touch your home, you’re essentially creating a bridge for any pest that wants to have a closer look at your house. The key to pest control is making it more difficult so that pests don’t have the chance to begin an infestation.

Homeowners already spend on average $5,000 to $10,000 on home improvement, so prevent those improvements from being repairs by preventing pests from causing damage. Critters can chew wires, infest food, and overall cause nuisances that you don’t have to deal with if you prevent them from happening. If you do start to get any sort of infestation, make sure to reach out to a pest control company to help stop the issue from getting worse.

How do you deal with pests in your home? Have you ever had an infestation that you have to deal with? How did you fix it? Are you dealing with an infestation right now and looking for advice on how to deal with it? Let everyone know in the comments below.