Tips for Handling Pest Control
We all have pests in our lives, but when you find them in the corners of your kitchen, it’s a different story. The main questions home renters ask when faced with this predicament are:
Q: How do I safely control pests in and outside my home?
A: According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency the key to safely solving your pest problems is asking questions. Depending on the pest you have several options are available to control the situation. Pests need food, water, and shelter to survive. The situation can usually be reversed just by simply reversing one of these controls. Before you consider chemical pest control, which could be harmful to your health, the EPA suggests checking for one of these 4 things:
- Leaky plumbing or the trays under house plants often leave stale water attracting pests.
- Check for food and food scraps caught under the counter or not correctly sealed – and make sure the garbage is regularly removed from the home.
- Don’t leave pet food and water out overnight.
- Closing off entryways and hiding places (caulking cracks and crevices around cabinets or baseboards, for example).
Q: How and when should pesticides be used?
A: Chances are you already have pesticides right under you kitchen sink.
- Cockroach sprays and baits
- Inspect sprays and wasp repellants for (indoor and personal use)
- Termite control products
- Rat and other rodents poisons
- Flea and tick sprays and powders
- Kitchen, laundry, and bath disinfectants and sanitizers, including bleach
- Products to kill mold and mildew
- Lawn and garden products such as weed killers
- Swimming pool chemicals, including those that kill algae.
- Repellants that keep deer, raccoons or rabbits away from your garden.
These common household products are considered pesticides and should be kept out of reach of children and pets:
If you do decide to apply pesticides, pet food and water should be removed from the area, and pets and children should be kept away from areas where pesticides have been applied. Once all other options have been exhausted, traps and bait stations can be laid to lure certain pests. This method is often effective and can be used with a low risk of exposure to the pesticide. Other relatively low risk pesticides are available as well. Pests and removal methods vary based on environment so be sure to consult your local cooperation extension service office for recommendations appropriate for your particular area. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Web site can help you identify your local extension service office.
As a renter, often times your building manager will take care of any major pest concerns for you. Consult with the manager of your property for additional advice.