With its warm weather, beautiful beaches, and stunning ocean views, living in Florida is a dream come true. There’s only one drawback… the insects and other pests. Florida is home to many insects, which thrive in subtropical and tropical climates. However, as the fall season rolls in and the temperatures begin to drop, insects may try to seek refuge inside your home. So unless you don’t mind living with blood-sucking, disease-spreading insects, you’ll want to consider these tips on preventing Florida pests in your home.
Keep Your Home Clean
Maintaining a clean home is always a good idea, but this is especially true for pest prevention. Whether it’s tiny crumbs of food on the floor, unnecessary amounts of clutter, or sticky countertops, it’s sure to attract insects. To deter pests from invading your home, you should vacuum and mop the floors daily. Additionally, kitchen and bathroom countertops need to be wiped clean regularly.
It’s also very important to reduce clutter by storing items properly and tossing out unnecessary junk. Doing this will make it easier to maintain a clean home, but it also helps limit the places where insects can hide. Lastly, take the trash to the curb or store it in a receptacle rather than allowing it to pile up inside your house or garage.
Install Screens on All Doors and Windows
One of the best ways to prevent insects from invading your Florida home is to install screens on all doors and windows. This will aid in protecting against flying insects, such as mosquitoes, wasps, and hornets. The screens will also eliminate any entry points that may have formed in the doors and windows. The process for installing screens is relatively simple, but if you’re not comfortable doing it, you can hire a contractor to do it for next to nothing.
Make Sure the Foundation is Sealed
The foremost way insects get inside your home is by squeezing through cracks and crevices in the foundation and the exterior walls. For instance, crawling insects, like sugar ants, have an uncanny ability to find even the tiniest entry points in your home’s exterior. Once they gain access, they build nests inside the wall paneling, and the infestation begins.
Repairing and sealing the foundation seems like a hassle, but it’s quite easy. Just head to your local hardware store and grab a few all-weather caulk or sealant tubes. Then, use the caulk to fill any cracks that appear susceptible to invading insects. After the caulk dries, it will keep the cracks sealed off for years to come.
Keep Pet Food Properly Stored
As far as insects are concerned, pet food is no different than people’s food. All they know is that its food. And once their sensitive odor receptors pick up the scent, they’ll be off to the races, heading straight toward the pet food. However, there are an easy solution to this problem: airtight storage containers. If your pet’s food comes in a bag, like that of most dog food brands, you should pour it into a storage container immediately after it’s been opened.
It’s also wise to wash your pet’s food bowl after each meal. When you allow the uneaten pet food to remain in the feeding dish, eventually, insects will find it. Some dog owners suggest that feeding should only take place outdoors to prevent any chance of luring insects into the home. This option may not be feasible for everyone, but it’s something to consider, especially if your home has been infested before.
Keep Foliage Away From Your Home
It’s a commonplace to decorate the perimeter of your house with plants, shrubs, small trees, and other types of foliage. When placed strategically, foliage can add privacy and curb appeal and hide exterior flaws in the house. These plants and shrubs also attract insects, some hiding from predators, some searching for prey, and some seeking shade. However, non-flying insects use the branches of these plants and trees to reach possible entry points that would otherwise be unreachable.
If your home is surrounded by decorative foliage, you should routinely trim the branches so that they don’t touch the exterior walls or windows. In addition, clear out any sticks and dead branches collected near the foundation, and move woodpiles away from the home. By ensuring that foliage is kept at a distance, you reduce the number of ways insects can invade your home.
Use Insect Repelling Plants
An often-overlooked facet of pest prevention is the use of plants in repelling insects. Numerous plant species have naturally occurring insect repelling properties, and each repels specific types of insects. This technique can be employed in your garden, near walkways, porches, and inside your home. It’s a favorite among pest control specialists.
For instance, if you’re trying to keep mosquitoes at bay, plant lemongrass, citronella grass, or marigolds close to your house. Plants like dill and catnip are perfect for indoor areas, such as the kitchen. They can be grown in small planting pots, and they’re effective in warding off flies, mosquitoes, and spider mites. It seems that there is a plant species for every insect species that will repel it. Think of it as fighting nature with nature.
Pests in Florida Beware
With its crystal-clear waters, beautiful weather, and diverse culture, living in Florida is about as close to paradise as you can get. If it weren’t for all the biting and blood-sucking insects, perhaps it would be paradise. And while you can’t avoid all of the bothersome insects, there are many techniques for preventing Florida pests in the home. If you have tried to prevent pests from invading your home and the problem persists, then contact a Florida pest control company to discuss a treatment plan for your home.