Who You Gonna Call?
Let’s face it: be it mice, bugs, or poltergeists, no one likes unwelcome visitors in their home. The idea of roaches, spiders, or ants is a big NOPE. While some people invite vermin in by living in filth, a lot of times it is virtually impossible to keep ALL pests out of your space (particularly if you live in an old building, in the forest, or in a big city with neighbors who you can’t monitor about taking out the trash. We’ve compiled a list below of easy ways of a) making sure unwanted houseguests don’t find their way in, and b) how to show them the door if they do.
1. Keep the space clean.
YOU DON’T SAY! Yes, it seems obvious. However, there are a lot of places that people don’t think to clean that bugs just LOVE.
Primarily, and most obviously, make sure the counters are clean and dry goods are kept in SEALED containers. Bust out the mason jars and the Tupperware. They keep the vermin out. Clean counters with cleaner (or vinegar if you don’t like the harsh stuff) and make sure food particles don’t linger. Don’t leave used dishes in your room and try to avoid eating in bed. Crummies are hard to get rid of and you can’t always find them later.
Secondly, get rid of standing water. All animals need it to live and will flock towards it. Make sure your faucets don’t drip and don’t leave the sinks half-full of water and soaking dishes. It’s an oasis to parched roaches everywhere.
Thirdly, make sure there are no clogs in your sink. Most people wouldn’t think about this, but just imagine the repulsive smorgasbord that waits for those brave little fuckers willing to crawl down the drain to find it. Google some different formulas for a drain de-clogger. Some people swear by baking soda and vinegar. Some use dish soap and boiling water. Some just splurge on the Draino. Just make sure the pipes are all clear.
Finally, wash out everything that goes into the garbage. Juice bottles, jars, pudding cups. Make sure that it’s clean before it goes into the trash. Additionally, invest in a trashcan with a lid and make sure garbage is taken out regularly.
Imagine the worst:
You walk into your kitchen and see a roach. You are taking a shower and see something moving next to the door with a tail. You are sleeping and don’t notice the army of spiders inching down from the ceiling, just waiting to crawl all over you while you innocently slumber.
In any of these scenarios, you have options.
1. Nuke the house from orbit. Probably the best option. It ensures that the vermin will never live the fight another day.
2. Fix the problem yourself.
3. Call in the professionals.
First of all, know your limits.
There are some pests that you should always leave to professional exterminators.
Bedbugs, rats, snakes in the toilet? All three are best left to professionals.
Bedbugs are virtually impossible to get rid of on your own. These little bastards are the incarnation of evil and death and it takes deadly force to rid your space of them. Call the professionals and be prepared to crash some place else while they get rid of them.
Rats and mice are tricky. While rats can be quite dangerous, they are also usually more numerous than you realize. For everyone rodent you see, assume there are several more that you don’t. You can certainly use humane traps and peppermint to repel them. However, if you want them gone for good, invest in an exterminators who know how to get rid of them and follow the standard rules for keeping the house clean.
Snakes If you are living in a house with a lot of yard space, snakes can be a terrifying concept. It is well-acknowledged that, while most snakes are harmless, the idea of snakes is upsetting and for that they must be stopped. If you do not know if the snakes you are encountering are venomous, IMMEDIATELY call animal control. Do not tango with a snake you can’t identify. These guys and gals are most commonly attracted by mice and insects (a viable food source). Keep the vermin away, keep the snakes away.
Secondly, know the natural remedies.
An ounce of prevention is worth a lot of saved money. Try using herbs such as lavender, citronella, peppermint oil, rosemary and marigolds to keep vermin away. Most animals can’t stand the smell of these plants and will keep away automatically. If you want to be safe, spray your baseboards with peppermint oil and water. It won’t harm the animals but will make it clear that they aren’t wanted. Vinegar is also a natural method of getting rid of many insects. Use it as well (though consider the smell before dousing your apartment with it to kill one spider.
Finally, call the exterminator when the time is right.
If all else fails, call in the professionals. They are paid for a reason. You shouldn’t have to share your space with bugs or rodents. Many landlords will have exterminators visit buildings on a monthly basis. If the cost is on you, make sure you and your roommates decide how to divide the bill after you get a price quote.
Note: If using a humane trap (which we recommend), be aware that mice should be set lose at least a mile away from the building so that they cannot find their way home.