You were on your way to the garage to get the Thanksgiving turkey from the spare refrigerator when you realized that there’s a little colony of ants living by the back door. Fantastic. One more mess to clean up before great aunt Marge comes over for the big family dinner. You get outside, open the garage, and while you’re getting the turkey from the fridge, you see a mouse. Yes, a live and actual mouse. Lovely. One more thing to tell your husband to do before great uncle Borris comes over tomorrow.
You’re in the middle of pulling that perfectly baked apple pie out of the oven when you notice a spider on the wall by the oven. Didn’t you just kill one this morning? Yes. Yes you did. You’re running back outside to grab a can of cranberry sauce and accidentally step on that baby colony of ants at the back door. Yes, that’s one more mess to clean up.
Does this sound like you? Hopefully not. But we all have a pest problem or two at sometime in our lives. Just make sure it’s not when your great aunt Marge and great uncle Borris are coming over for Thanksgiving Dinner. They’ll never let you off the hook for that one. What You Can Do to Keep Them Away
So save yourself some humiliation (and let’s be sure not to upset great uncle Borris’ pacemaker) by keeping your home free from pests.
There are a few things you can do on your own to help keep your Thanksgiving Dinner a pest-free one.
- Make sure all doors and windows are sealed properly. Little insects and spiders can get in through openings – and when there’s one spider, there will soon be about 500. No, really. They lay eggs everywhere. Keep a clean, functioning screen on all windows and sliding doors. If you just can’t resist that lovely outside smell and have to open a window, be sure to keep the bugs out with a screen that works.
- Be sure to keep windows and doors closed at all times when not in use.
- Be sure to clean up any food or drinks that may have been spilled. Yes, I said drinks (especially if they’re sticky like soda). Even if the mess is in your pantry or cupboard, little insects (mainly those pesky ants) will be able to get to it – and they will. Ants aren’t migratory insects; they’ll stay wherever they find a steady supply of food, and a pantry seems like a pretty reliable place for them to find food.
- If you’re not sure whether or not you actually have a pest problem or just a few too many little pests around lately, keep track of how many little insects/critters you see. If you’re killing multiple spiders a day (even a week), you might have a problem. If you see a few ants eating away at that crumb mess on the floor, clean it up and then watch for a few days and pay attention to if you see any more ants. If there’s a colony, you’ll see more. Otherwise you might’ve just killed the scouting party who wasn’t able to make it back to Mama Ant.
- If you suspect you’ve got a pest problem, call a professional! Really, don’t try to tackle it on your own. Mouse and glue traps are unsightly and gross to clean up. Poisons are pretty ineffective for rodents because the affected rodents will try to find somewhere to die that’s generally totally inaccessible to people. Poisons are also dangerous. They can cause serious health problems to children and animals. Just call someone who will be able to safely remove the pests. The best thing about a professional is that their methods will actually keep the pests away!
So, why are you still sitting here? You should probably go take care of that pest problem before the in-laws and great aunt Marge and great uncle Borris get here, don’t you think?
Ginger Price writes semi-entertaining, semi-informational articles about homes and home maintenance, and works closely with pest control companies. If you’re in need of pest control, Denver has some pretty great options.