No one relishes the thought of coming home, turning on the lights, and discovering that pests have taken over your home. Unfortunately, unwanted intruders can invade your space whether you live in a single-family home or on the 28th floor of a high-rise condominium building. And once they’ve settled in, pests can threaten your health, your home, and your sanity.
To help you keep your home pest-free, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) offers the following tips on how to pest-proof your home:
Find and seal all potential pest passageways.
Pests can enter condos through almost any unsealed or poorly sealed opening. To close down these entryways, start by sealing any holes in the walls around plumbing and electrical lines. Use caulking or spray foam to seal penetrations in utility closets, under kitchen sinks or behind toilets, and sinks in bathrooms.
Caulk any cracks or crevices in cupboards and walls. Ensure your window screens are properly fitted and in good condition. And consider sealing the gap under your suite’s front door if you do not have any humidity or indoor air quality problems.
Remove the insect and rodent welcome mat.
Like humans, pests need food and shelter to survive. Make your home as inhospitable to pests as possible by finding and removing any sources of high humidity or standing water in the kitchen, bathroom, and concealed spaces.
Avoid leaving food or food waste out in the open. Get rid of dead or dying plants or flowers. Remove any clutter that could provide a nesting ground for bugs, including piles of boxes or other materials left undisturbed for long periods.
Earn your good housekeeping seal of approval.
Many pests thrive on dirt and dust. So encourage them to find other accommodations by cleaning your condo frequently and thoroughly. Wipe counters, tables, stovetops, and burners after every meal. Avoid leaving unrinsed dishes in the sink or dishwasher overnight, and rinse your cans and bottles before recycling them.
Clean food spills promptly, especially on carpets and furniture. Put your garbage and compost in containers with lids and dispose of them frequently. Keep your cupboards neat and tidy — clean and vacuum in hard-to-reach places regularly. And empty and wash your dog or cat’s water and food dishes daily.
Spread the word.
Pest-proofing is most successful when everyone in the building is working towards a common goal. Talk to the other owners or tenants about eliminating food sources, establishing good housekeeping habits, and reducing the entry points for pests of all shapes and sizes.
You may also want to discuss a pest-proofing strategy with your building manager. If you find that the housekeeping in the common areas of your building is not well taken care of, be sure to report it to your property manager or condominium board.
Here’s an article on getting rid of German roaches.