Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Keeping Pests out of your Apartment

Whether its ants, spiders, moths, mice, squirrels, or raccoons, chances are you will end up sharing your living space with some unwelcome pests at some point in your life.  Pests are unpleasant to say the least, but worse still, they can be destructive, unsanitary, and even carry the risk of disease.  It might not be possible to live entirely pest-free, especially for those of us who are renting in older buildings or in basements, but by following a few straightforward rules, you can lower the chances of pests setting up shop in your abode.

Mind the Gaps

The best way to keep pests out of your apartment is to guarantee they have no means of entering your home.  This means ensuring that any and all cracks, gaps, space or holes (in the siding, in the window or door frame, or around pipes, electrical outlets, or air conditioner units) are completely sealed off. 
Some of these might be quick fixes, like adding steel wool or a stain-free removable caulking around small gaps or cracks, but if you locate more sizable holes be sure to contact and consult with the property owner to see how best to proceed.

Keep it Clean

Pests are attracted to food, so if you keep your apartment tidy and litter free you eliminate their food source, and send them packing.  You can accomplish this inside your unit, by properly rinsing your recycling materials, and by making sure that your recycling, garbage and compost bins are clean and well-sealed at all times.  This is also true of your food.  By storing dry goods, like rice, beans, grains, sugars, and flours, in glass or plastic sealable containers, and by ensuring that vinegar and oil bottles are wiped clean, you can keep your food free from pests, and leave the pests with nothing to eat.

An Orderly Outdoors

Keeping things clean and tidy outside can also force pests to look elsewhere.  Do whatever you can to keep your recycling, garbage, and compost bins tightly sealed.  Larger pests, like squirrels and raccoons, are incredibly resourceful so if you cannot keep your bins out of their reach, or if you cannot seal the lids, ensure that there is no way for pests to climb upon the bins or push them over.  If a pest views your building as a reliable food source it will continue to return, so cut them off at the source by keeping your bins unavailable, and by keeping your deck, balcony, or patio clear of any and all garbage and debris.

Pests are a fact of life, but by preventing their access to your space, and by keeping tidy, you can limit their damage, and encourage them to move along.

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