Ever wondered why you’ve spent a fortune on treating the cat for fleas but are still covered in bites? Perhaps no matter what you do, you are still finding huntsman spiders waiting for you on the wall when you get up in the morning or signs that termites have been snacking on your window sills.
Chances are, if you have only been treating your internal spaces for pests, then you have unwittingly been ignoring the most significant contributor to uninvited guests in your home – your garden.
If you find that your home appears to have issued an open invitation to creepy crawlies everywhere, begin by calling in a commercial pest control company to get the problem under control. From there take a good, hard look at preventing reinfestation by addressing how your garden may be unwittingly contributing to your ‘pesky pest’ problem…
Fleas and ticks
The fleas which are easily visible on your cat or dog may represent a mere 5% of the total flea population in your home. Fleas and ticks shy away from direct sunlight; instead they thrive in shady, damp areas of the garden, under shrubs, down the side of the house and around the perimeter of the property. They can also be found under the house, acting as a veritable breeding ground for infestation.
Fleas eggs can be carried into your garden via rodents, wildlife and even birds, transferring themselves onto your pet and if conditions are right, hatching and remaining there for their full lifecycle.
The solution to the problem is multifaceted:
- Tackle the immediate problem with a commercial pest control company, to kill both fleas and their eggs
- If pets spend times outdoors, attend to them regularly with an effective flea and tick treatment
- Avoid overwatering lawn areas
- Keep debris, composite and grass clippings well away from the house
- Secure the roof and under the house to prevent wildlife from entering and dropping flea eggs.
For most of us, there is nothing so terrifying as the thought that spiders may be hovering around the home. Unfortunately, we may be inadvertently inviting them in by neglecting areas of the garden.
To reduce the chance of an unexpected arachnid showing up in the corner of your room, implement the following protocols:
- Keep plants and shrubs away from the house
- Seal cracks on external walls
- Avoid storing wood close the home
- Turn off external lights
- Make a natural spider repellent and spray around the home and external walls
There is nothing so delightful in winter than an open fire. Unfortunately, storing wood anywhere near the home is a recipe for disaster. Termites which are brought into the vicinity of the home via firewood, will quickly migrate to the timber components of your home. This can result in significant structural damage.
Store firewood well away from the house in a secured container or shed, and have your home inspected immediately for signs of infestation.
European wasps are a nuisance and can be a health hazard. Unlike bees, wasps don’t die after stinging and they can sting more than once. They are attracted to the home by exposed food. This may be the result of outdoors entertaining, exposed garbage or feeding pets outdoors.
Whatever the cause, once established, a wasp nest will require a professional pest controller to locate and destroy it. The best remedy for wasps is prevention. Strictly curbing exposed food outdoors, means wasps will seek greener pastures elsewhere.
Ants may lead a trail through your garden and into your home for three prime reasons:
- Water – ants seek out water, particularly in dry climates. Check the perimeter of the house to ensure there are no leaks which may be attracting ants.
- Food – improperly bagged food waste can lead to ants setting up nests near the house.
- Shelter – seal small cracks and fissures around the home to prevent ants from entering.
Stagnant pools of water are the prime breeding ground for mosquitoes. Volumes of water as small as a bottle cap are sufficient for them to breed in. The good news is that mosquitoes can’t fly great distances so eliminating breeding options in your garden will go along way to reducing mosquitoes.
Inspect the garden for any sources of standing water, including:
- Unused fountains or ponds
- Kiddie pools
- Buckets or other containers
If you have a swimming pool, don’t panic. The chlorinated water prevents mosquitoes from using them to breed.
The above suggestions carry a common theme for reducing the number of pests inside the home. Keep gardens well maintained, store wood and debris away from the house and don’t leave exposed food out in the open. Implementing these simple measures in your garden can see a positive reduction in pests in and around your home.