The average cost of a new home is about $362,000. Most people pay about $1,200 for their monthly mortgage payments, in addition to other expenses. A home is probably the last, and greatest investment that an American homeowner can make in a lifetime, to me anyway.
As with any investment, you want to protect it as much as possible. It is also important to make sure that your home houses only you and your family. I don’t mean unwanted guests, couch-surfers, and estranged relatives hard up on their personal luck. One of the most horrible things that a homeowner must deal with is pests.
One thing I have learned as a homeowner is that I must look for potential small problems before they become big, unmanageable problems. Like signs of insect and bug infestation. Listening for the infestation signs of mice, rats, or raccoons. I had a neighbor who went on a Paul Kersey-like quest to trap and dispose of any raccoons that went through his garbage. Or, were unfortunate enough to trespass inside his house.
A Visit From Pest Control
Trapping and disposing of large-sized pests are an unpleasant endeavor. Some pests, like ants, roaches, termites, and bed bugs, for example, can be impossible to deal with on your own. The average one-time cost of an exterminator or pest control expert can be as high as $550. Depending on home assessments and the need for follow-up visits, that cost could be a lot more.
One thing that I have learned from home ownership is that the best form of pest control is continual self-inspection and assessment of your home. To always look for warning signs and small problems that have the potential to become big and expensive problems.
DIY Pest Control Tips
Thoroughly check every vulnerable point in your home that can serve as entry points for pests. The attic, vents and their connection to your home, and the basement could be virtual open doors to pests. Look for crevices, cracks, and openings in your home as well. Roach shells, droppings, or mysterious scratching noises at night should never be ignored.
Use sealants like caulk to seal up every possible crack, opening, and entry point in your home. Inspect under sinks, inside cupboards, and behind large appliances regularly. Dispose of trash properly and use fasteners to keep lids on garbage cans. Or, make sure to keep your garbage some distance from your home. It goes without saying that you should keep your home as clean as possible.
Keep pet food and human food in airtight plastic containers and don’t leave food unattended on surfaces. Use humidifiers and ensure adequate ventilation in your home whenever possible. Wet spots, puddles, and standing water can attract pests or serve as vectors for reproduction. Make sure that your home’s drainage system is free of leaks as well.
Never Ending Vigilance
You can set traps to catch mice, rats, and raccoons if it is a small problem and you know how they are coming into your home. Otherwise, you need to know when you have to call in a professional. Your best defense against pest problems is to stay vigilant of warning signs, keep your home clean, and ensure that your home is free of any entry points for pests. That is easier to do now, than trapping pests later.