Photo of ants on a branch

When you’re at home, the last thing you want to see scurrying across your floor is a bug or a mouse.

Unfortunately, the odds are very high that you’ll find one of these common household pests sooner or later, and you may be wondering how to control pests in your home.

If you are, you’re in luck!

We’ll give you several easy ways to pest proof your home that doesn’t take much time or effort.

1. Run an Air Purifier to Control Dust Mites

Dust mites are tiny bugs that you may not even realize are in your home. They feed off of the dust collects on your floor, furniture, and bed linens.

One way to drastically reduce the number of dust mites in your home is to use an air purifier. As it cycles your indoor air through the filtration system, it will filter out and trap dust. When the amount of dust goes down, the dust mites won’t have anything to feed on and will die.

Several of the cheapest air purifiers do a great job at controlling dust as well as air cleaners with a reusable filter. The best air purifier with a washable  filter doesn’t cost a dime to maintain after the initial purchase.

2. Keep Your Kitchen Clean

After a long day, you may be tempted to go to bed and leave crumbs on your counters or dishes in the sink. However, this is a free buffet for bugs and rodents, and they’ll be attracted to this area by the smell of food.

To stop this, take a few minutes each evening to wipe down your counters with disinfectant spray and wash your dishes. If you don’t have time to wash a pile of dishes, toss them in the dishwasher. You don’t have to run the cycle, just as long as the dishes are out of reach of any pests.

Another general rule to follow is to put any grains or pet foods into sealed glass jars, so they don’t invite bugs and vermin into your home.

3. Check For and Repair and Openings

Don’t give pests an easy way into your home. If you have a basement, go down and check for any gaps, cracks, or holes, and fill them with caulking. You can caulk small crevices, and fill larger ones with steel wool and then caulk them more easily.

Check around windows and doors for broken or missing weather stripping and replace this as well. Make sure that you check all of your screens for holes and repair them if you find them.

4. Put Out Sticky Traps

Sticky glue traps or insect magnets are a great way to get rid of any existing pests in your home. Just remember not to place them where your kids or pets can access them.

The best spots for pest control are inside cupboards, between your appliances, and behind canisters on your counters. These traps have a scent that attracts, traps, and kills ants, spiders, stinkbugs, silverfish, crickets, mice, and other household pests.

5. Invite Birds Around Your Home

Putting up a bird feeder is a fast and effective way to draw birds around your home. Not only are they pretty, but their natural insect killers. Birds love to eat bugs.

The more birds that you have around your home, the fewer bugs you should see. Also, a bird feeder and birdseed are fairly inexpensive, even for a larger feeder and several pounds of seed.

6. Buy a Door Sweep

The next time it’s dark outside, shine a flashlight under your home’s front door or any door that leads outdoors. Chances are, you’ll see a gap and light shining through.

This location is notorious for pests to sneak their way into your home. You can purchase a door sweep at almost any hardware store, and they simply slide over the bottom of your door or have a self-stick adhesive pad to hold them in place.

Door sweeps also serve a dual purpose: keeping pests out and helping retain heat in the winter.

7. Store Wood Away From the House

If you have a wood burning fireplace, it might seem like a good idea to store your wood against the house. But this invites carpenter ants, cockroaches, and termites to hang out closer to your house because they like to live in these woodpiles.

To keep these critters away, store your wood away from your home, and if you can store it off the ground, that’s even better. A firewood rack can help hold larger quantities of wood, or you can stack it in a wheelbarrow and cover it with a tarp.

8. Clear Out Any Clutter

Every home has some sort of clutter. But if you have large piles of junk mail, paper, or clothing laying around you’re inviting pests to stay.

These objects make perfect dark hiding spots for spiders, cockroaches, and insects to live.

Try to set a goal of setting aside one day per week to clear out all of the clutter that piles up as the week goes on. Your unwanted guests won’t have access to dark hiding spots, and they’ll be less likely to stay.

9. Trap and Remove Rodents

Ideally, you want to be able to trap and remove the rodents from your home while still alive. If you use traditional traps that kill them, their bodies are breeding grounds for insects and bacteria to thrive.

There are several types of humane live traps for sale, and it’s a fast and easy way to get rid of them. Once you’ve trapped them, look for any obvious signs or access points for where these critters got indoors. Then, seal up these spots to prevent their friends from getting inside at a later date.

Bottom Line

If you have pests in your home, these easy tips are a great start for how to bug proof your home.

These simple ways are relatively inexpensive, and you can accomplish all of them in a few hours or during a weekend. By doing so, you’ll have a healthier living environment, and the pests will stay outside where they belong.