Ants, termites, cockroaches -- the enemies of every homeowner. When you spot any of these pests in your house, the sooner you take action to get rid of them, the better. In many cases, these bugs are visting you because of the conditions on the outside...on your property. "If you do find you have pests, the most important thing is going to find what is causing them. Is there an area of your house that is allowing them to come in? You really need to fix that root cause. Having someone just come out and treat for the pest without fixing the root cause is just going to cause the problem to come back," says Angie Hicks from Angies List, one of the nation's leading providers of consumer advice and review.
If you're concerned about the use of chemicals, there are several eco-friendly options available these days. Angie's List consulted with several highly rated companies to bring you the latest information on green alternatives for pest control.
RELATED: How to Hire a Pest Control Company
Ask about Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Practices. These are endorsed by the Environmental Protection Agency. IPM programs use information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment in combination with available pest control methods to manage pest damage with the least possible hazard to people, property and the environment.
Ask about non-toxic traps for ants, spiders and other pests. "This is really imprtant for consumers, especially if they have children and pets and they want to have their home be a safer environment," says Hicks.
Many pest control problems don't require chemicals at all. Some companies use outdoor baits to attract pests away from the home, or they seal off areas, like underneath porches and decks, with wiring.
With more eco-friendly products available, the costs are coming down and are now comparable to traditional methods. One thing to remember, natural products may take longer to work and the effectiveness diminishes more rapidly than with chemical pesticides.
Pest Control Prevention Tips:
1. Maintain your home - Keep up with basic maintenance, keep your yard mowed and weeded, and repair any plumbing leaks
2. Seal it up - Seal cracks in the exterior to keep pests from getting inside. Be sure all doors and windows are properly sealed with tight-fitting screens and weather stripping.
3. Remove standing water outside the home - An area with standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
4. Keep it dry - Basements, crawl spaces and attics should be well ventilated and dry.
5. Remove any structural damage, such as mositure-damaged wood - Weak spots can quickly turn into entry points for insects and animals.
6. Do not leave food out - Don't leave food sitting out and don't allow pet food to sit out overnight, inside or outside.
7. Remove any piles of debris from around your home - They serve as homes for pests, especially rodents.
Source: Angie's List