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The Home Depot

5 Causes of Pest Problems

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Extermination > 5 Causes of Pest Problems
5 Causes of Pest Problems

From an insurance standpoint, when you have a pest problem, you’re pretty much on your own. When pests take over and rip-up your property it is thought of as a “maintenance issue” by your insurance carrier. Frankly, that’s pretty logical when you think about it. You could have stopped the infestation in its tracks by rooting-out what caused the problem and dealing with it from the very beginning.

  1. 1.Food

    Every living thing on earth needs energy to survive. Insects and small, warm-or-cold-blooded critters are no exception. You can either make it easy for them to eat or you can make it impossible. The best invitation is when you leave food and food scraps just lying around in the open. By sealing-up your food and storing it in a cold or sanitary place, the pest’s supermarket just ran out of business.


    Do you have pets? Don’t leave their food out overnight. Same goes for their water. Put it in the fridge, bringing it out in the morning.


    Garbage to us is garbage. To an invader, it’s food. Make sure that all forms of trash are taken outside and placed in a proper receptacle. Another good idea is to keep your garbage isolated from your home.

  2. While replacing your outdoor lights with so-called yellow "bug" lights, don’t kid yourself. Their brightness will attract fewer moths and mosquitoes than typical white lights, but it doesn’t repel them.
  3. 2.Water

    Water is also needed by furry, flying, shiny, multi-legged creatures. Any leaking plumbing fixture can not only cause damage, it also gives the beasts a place to drink. As a matter of fact, house plants, especially the trays that catch the water under the pot, can be a source of water.


    On the outside, any standing water becomes a pest’s drinking glass. Dump the water you find in containers like plastic covers, rain gutters, wading pools, buckets, potted plant trays, fountains or any other places where mosquitoes can breed.


    A swimming pool is likewise an incubator. You shouldn’t have to worry as long as you regularly treat the water and keep the pump circulating the H2O.

  4. 3.Holes And Cracks

    Entry ways, cracks and crevices, plain ol’ holes are ways critters come into your home. Even tiny entrances invite a way for a pest to squeeze through it. Plug all pest doorways, with special attention given to gaps near windows and doors. Another place they come inside are from the gaps where your utilities enter your house.


    If the problem you fear are termites, check the base of your home. There should be at least a couple of inches of concrete foundation showing between the dirt and the wood above. If the soil touches the wood, create a firewall between the dirt and your home.

  6. 4.Making Your Home Impenetrable

    Are your door and window screens doing what they were made to do? Are they “bug tight?” Same goes for the bottom of every door that leads outside; is it flush to the floor or is there just a little space between the door and the floor?


    Not only will sealing these open spaces keep the pests at bay, it can also save you money on heating and cooling bills. By adding some flexible foam strips to the door, it keeps hot and cold air inside your house, while creating a barrier for small creatures.

  7. 5.Repellents

    While replacing your outdoor lights with so-called yellow "bug" lights, don’t kid yourself. Their brightness will attract fewer moths and mosquitoes than typical white lights, but it doesn’t repel them. Citronella candles and torches also fall into this category. They ward-off creatures, but do not eliminate them.


    However, unlike a bug light, bug zappers will attract flying insects. That’s a good thing. As the bug touches the electrified area, they get fried.


    Is prevention always the cure? It depends. One thing we do know, prevention is a part of the cure. The most important thing is maintenance. When you create good habits, good things will come your way.

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