a rat on the floor of a house.

Home pests that invade your home should be stopped immediately and effectively to avoid a full-scale infestation. Although pests vary from insects to rodents, many are drawn to your home by the same lures: food, water, and lodging. If you notice more than an occasional bug or mouse inside your home, take the following steps to send them packing.

Remove Enticements

Keep all food covered and put away where it cannot be easily scented or seen by pests. Remove crumbs from countertops, tables, and cooking surfaces. Thoroughly wipe and clean any spills of sugar, grease, or other minor substances. Even if you think they are irrelevant, the local pests will find the tiniest of granules alluring. Keep your sinks dry to avoid water drips from providing moisture that attracts pests. Repair leaks around the toilet or drains for the same reason.

Use Repellents

Common commercial repellents may be strong enough to get rid of early pest invaders. Be careful to use products that are not toxic to humans or pets. You may find natural products helpful. For example, citrus scents allegedly keep some types of flying bugs away, while cinnamon, garlic, or vinegar are also credited with some degree of success for discouraging insects from nesting in your home. Specialty high-frequency audio alarms that cannot be heard by humans claim to keep rodents away.

Set Traps

Instead of using poison or toxic chemicals, many restaurants and commercial offices use enclosed traps to catch mice or rats. The traps can be disposed of, or the creatures can be freed outdoors. However, some have managed to follow their original track to get back inside, so they should be released far from your home. The old-fashioned mouse track or fly trap still works as well. However, they require monitoring and resetting as they fill up.

Get Professional Help

If you suspect a major pest infiltration, such as termites, hornets, mice, or bats, contact a pest control expert for advice. You may want to schedule an inspection so the expert can provide a report on the type and extent of the infestation along with recommended treatment options. You might be able to follow the suggestions offered, or you may decide to hire the professional pest control company to handle the job for you. Either way, it will give you peace of mind knowing that the problem will soon be under control.

Household pests are not uncommon, but they should be managed swiftly to prevent their intrusion from becoming a major issue.