How to Get Rid of Common Indoor Pests

Carefully inspecting the outside of your home and looking for small holes or gaps is the first step in protecting your home against pests. Did you know that a mouse can enter your house through a hole the size of a dime and a rat can enter your house through a hole the size of a 25-cent coin? Fill these holes and gaps with steel wool and caulk the outside of your home to prevent rodents from entering. There are four management strategies for controlling cockroaches. This strategy includes inspecting items brought into the house and sealing cracks and crevices in kitchens, bathrooms, exterior doors, and windows. Structural modifications such as weatherstripping and pipe collars can also be used to deprive cockroaches of food, water, and shelter. These efforts include quickly cleaning food particles off shelves and floors; timely washing dishes; and routinely cleaning under refrigerators, stoves, furniture, and similar areas.

If pets are fed indoors, pet food should be kept in airtight containers and not left in bowls overnight. Garbage boxes should be cleaned routinely. Access to water sources should be denied by repairing leaking pipes, drains, sump traps, and aquariums. Eliminating shelters can be achieved in part by purging clutter, such as papers and clothes and dirty rags. Commercially available cockroach traps can be used to capture cockroaches and serve as a monitoring device.

The most effective placement of traps is against vertical surfaces, mainly corners and under sinks, in cabinets, basements and floor drains. The fourth strategy is chemical control. The use of chemicals often indicates that the other three strategies have been incorrectly applied. There are numerous insecticides available and appropriate information can be obtained from the EPA. OSU County Extension directors and State Extension specialists in entomology and pesticide sellers can help identify the pest for the owner or send the pest to the OSU Department of Entomology for identification. To protect your health, it's important to prevent these pests from entering your home and, if you have a pest problem, to resolve it quickly.

Not only can licensed pest control operators help you get rid of pests, but they can also help you identify pest entry points and take corrective action to prevent future infestations. The best way to control insects and related pests on indoor plants is through prevention, as it is almost always easier to prevent a pest infestation than to eliminate it. The most common household pests include rodents such as mice and rats, bats, pigeons, and insects such as bed bugs, house flies, fleas, and food beetles. Check your dry food for signs of pests before taking it home; small holes in food packaging can be an indication of food pests. The first important step in the insect pest control process is to identify the pests present so that appropriate management procedures can be used. The information in this fact sheet will help homeowners and buildings to control insect infestations that are pests and some other common arthropods that invade homes.

Certain pests, such as bed bugs, should be eliminated with a pest control company, as there are no over-the-counter products that can be used to eliminate bed bugs. It is extremely important to follow the preparation instructions provided by a licensed pest control operator in order for the extermination of any type of pest to be successful.