Wood-burning fireplaces are an excellent way to escape the blustery weather – after all, few things are more enticing than snuggling up with a cup of hot cocoa in front of a roaring log fire – but they also give pests a chance to find a way into your home.
Raccoons, squirrels, opossums, and other animals can occasionally enter homes through chimneys in search of a denning site, where they can keep warm during winter and raise their babies until spring. To some of them, your uncapped chimney is indistinguishable from a hollow tree, and they have no idea there’s a human dwelling at the other side of it. Unlike hollow trees, however, the inside of your chimney is often damp and slippery, and some animals will likely get stuck inside.
Having a wild animal inside your chimney can be anything from a nuisance to a safety hazard.
DIY pest control methods have probably been around as long as pests themselves. Thousands of years ago, Egyptians used to smear the fat of a cat on grain sacks to protect against rodents or spread loose ash around a grinding mill to eradicate flour eating insects. Ancient Greek farmers also practiced several folk remedies to eradicate pests around their crops. Hanging a mare’s skull in the garden would discourage caterpillar infestations, while a concoction made from the juices of hemlock, lupin, and squill could kill larvae, insects, and even small animals.
While some man-made pest control methods have proven their effectiveness time and again, there are also plenty of old wives’ tales being perpetuated by homeowners’ eagerness to escape pesky critters. Since telling fact from fiction can be challenging when battling home invasions, we thought we’d explore some of the most prevalent myths when it comes to DIY pest control.
Wouldn’t it be great if all you had to do to get rid of household pests was plug in a $10 device and wait? No need for spraying toxic pesticides or setting up poison traps to drive nuisance animal and insect pests out of your home or garden. This is the appeal of using one of the many ultrasonic pest repellers that have invaded the market over the past decades. But are these seemingly miraculous devices an effective tool to get rid of pests or simply a waste of time and money?
“Turn your home’s wiring into a pest repellent force field. Patented digital technology repels rodents, roaches, ants & spiders.” This is the claim of one popular manufacturer selling electromagnetic and ultrasonic pest control products said to eliminate pests from homes and other structures in 2 to 4 weeks by “sending a pulsating signal through or altering the field around the electrical wiring inside homes and other buildings”.
Did you ever wonder how pests like rodents, termites, spiders, ants, and biting insects manage to set up residence in your house before your very eyes? Some of them get inside the same way you do – through the front door, while others enter your home by hitching a ride on things you bring from the outside, such as boxes, lumber, or plants. For a great number of pests, however, the most common entry routes are cracks and crevices leading up to the crawl space.
The crawlspace is the underside of your home, an area built between the ground level and the bottom of the house, creating a permanent foundation and used in place of a basement. (Many buildings, especially commercial establishments, have a crawl space between some of the walls.) Its primary purpose is to facilitate air circulation through the structure and allow easy access to plumbing and electrical systems.
Maybe the trail of ants munching on your lunch leftovers or the co-worker complaining about itchy bites is not that big of deal to you. Even if we spend much of our waking days at work, the workplace doesn’t feel personal, and you may be inclined to think that pests in the office are simply a minor discomfort you shouldn’t be too concerned about.
The reality is that pest control at the office is an important part of pest control at home.Click To Tweet
When pests set up residence in your office, they can easily hitch a ride home with you inside your briefcase or on top of your clothes. Two of the most loathsome pests, the German cockroach and bed bugs, are known as resourceful hitchhikers that can easily find their way into any area that provides them with food and water sources – and that includes your home, as well.