Topping every other city in the survey, 41 percent of New Orleans households reported seeing cockroaches within the house, according to a Bloomberg compilation of 2015 American Housing Survey data. Roaches and other common pests are frequently found in warm, humid climates. If pesky cockroaches are present, there are most likely additional types of pests residing in dark crevasses throughout the home. New Orleans pest control takes ongoing commitment and dedication to keep buildings free from these unwanted inhabitants.
Pest-proofing a structure is often one of the best ways to keep bugs out of the home. It can be easier to keep them outside compared to getting them to move back outdoors once they have taken up residence in your home. Below are seven helpful tips for pest-proofing any structure. The equipment referred to is typically available at local hardware or home improvement stores.
1. Repair Door and Window Screens
Repairing door and window screen tears or gaps is one of the first steps to take when making New Orleans pest control efforts. These holes can allow entry of mosquitoes, flies, gnats or other insects into the home. Even after eliminating any openings, some insects may be small enough to fit through standard mesh window screens. Denying entrance to these tiny bugs may mean that windows must be kept closed during certain times of the year.
2. Apply Caulk to Cracks
Cracks can form around doors, fascia boards, windows, or other surfaces on the outside of the home. A high-quality acrylic latex or silicone caulk can plug those holes to keep insects out. Latex-based caulks clean up easily with water. Caulked surfaces can be painted to match the surrounding area. For those with less experience, caulks that are clear after drying can be easier to use because mistakes will not show as well.
Before sealing a crack, clear it of any peeling substances. For a clean look, apply the caulk bead to the surface and smooth it with a damp rag or moistened finger. A good caulking gun can make all the difference when tackling New Orleans pest control projects. Look for these handy features:
3. Install Door Sweeps
Door sweeps or thresholds installed at the base of all exterior, sliding glass and garage doors can block accessible entrances for many pests. Lie on the floor and check for light visible under each door. Pay particular attention to the corners, where there is more likely to be a gap. Openings as small as 1/16 inch or less can permit insects and spiders to access the structure’s interior. In addition to insects, mice can enter through a hole the size of a pencil’s diameter, and it only takes a one-half inch gap to give access to a rat.
New Orleans pest control often starts with blocking these common openings. Caulk applied along the outside bottom edges and sides of exterior doors can obstruct ants and other small insects. Foam weather-stripping applied to the bottom track of a sliding glass door can seal this popular entrance point. Garage doors can be fitted with a rubber bottom seal to eliminate space between the door and the driveway floor.
4. Seal Utility Openings
Pipes and wires often enter a home’s foundation and sidings through utility openings. When left unsealed, these can become beacons for bugs to enter the building. Examine openings for outdoor faucets, clothes dryer vents, gas meters, receptacles and wiring that come into the building. Plug holes with cement, caulk, expandable urethane foam, copper mesh, steel wool, or any other suitable sealant. As the seasons change, check these entry points at least a couple of times per year to ensure that the closures remain intact.
5. Place Wire Mesh Over Vents
A thorough New Orleans pest control strategy often includes installing wire mesh or hardware cloth throughout the attic, crawl spaces, roof and vents. Because of the material’s razor-sharp texture, use gloves when cutting and installing the coverings. In addition to bugs, the mesh can also successfully keep birds, squirrels, bats, and rodents from living in rarely used attic areas.
6. Apply Barrier Treatments
An exterior insecticide perimeter barrier can be established to keep pests even further away from the structure. Long-lasting liquid formulations are available to spread around strategic areas of the home or other structures. Many lawn and garden shops stock different types of insecticides, some of which may be specially formulated to combat New Orleans pest control issues.
Apply the insecticide around exterior doors, crawl space entrances, garage door openings, vents and utility openings throughout the foundation and underneath the home’s siding. Use a hose-end or compressed-air sprayer to dispense the insecticide. Homeowners may also want to treat a perimeter band around the building, ranging from two to six feet in width.
7. Evaluate Lighting
While outdoor lighting is often used for safety reasons, it can also attract more pests towards the building, particularly when entrances are illuminated. Certain spectrums of outdoor lights, such as those with wavelengths less than 550 nanometers, can increase pest attraction. When lighting an area with pest-attracting lights, take other New Orleans pest control measures to secure the area.
Controlling the entrance of unwanted pests into your home is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. It has been a sanitation and health issue for centuries, considering that as far back as the 1400s, fleas carried on the back of rats transmitted the bubonic plague. More recently, bugs and other types of vermin have been found to trigger asthma and allergies, in addition to creating an unclean environment that contains saliva, feces, body parts and partially eaten food. Stronger strains of pests are proliferating as well, including biting bed bugs, invasive ant species and brown marmorated stink bugs.
Taking steps once can help you win the battle today, but ongoing work is needed to win the war against unwanted insect houseguests. New Orleans pest control experts can provide a plan to remove pests from inside the home and keep them outdoors where they belong.
I really enjoy researching and writing about pests. The more we know about bugs, the easier it becomes to control them.