When you have kids, life can get hectic. One day your home is perfectly clean, and the next, it looks like a tornado blew through and scattered clothing and toys everywhere. In the midst of the mayhem, you don't want any pests, like cockroaches or rats, to take up residence in your home. Follow these pest control tips for families to keep unwanted visitors at bay.
Allow Eating Only in the Kitchen
You might be able to eat crackers in the living room without making a mess, but can your kids do the same? Even a few small crumbs left under a couch cushion or behind an end table could be enough to attract cockroaches and ants.
To prevent your kids from leaving crumbs and food scraps in their bedrooms and in the living room, make a house rule that eating is only allowed in the kitchen. Hard surfaces in the kitchen are easier to keep clean than plush carpet and furniture. You can easily give the kitchen a once-over to clean up any crumbs and food debris each evening. Adhere the kitchen-only yourself, too, so that your children follow your example.
Have the Kids Help With Yard Work
Many pest infestations begin in the yard. For example, mice may take up residence in a pile of brush near your home and then find their way into your home later on. The cleaner you keep your yard, the lower your chances of an indoor pest infestation.
Get the kids involved with yard work to help keep the space clean. Younger kids can help rake leaves and put them in bags. Teens can help mow the lawn and trim the shrubs. Consider having a family yard cleanup day once a month to keep everyone on top of these tasks.
Supervise the Feeding of Pets
Caring for pets teaches children responsibility. However, kids are not always the tidiest when it comes to feeding their pets. A little hamster food on the floor is just as appealing to mice as it is to hamsters. And cat food that sits in the bowl because your child overfed the cat may attract roaches, rats, and more.
When explaining to your child how to feed their pets, be sure to emphasize tidiness. Supervise their feeding habits, at least for the first few weeks until you're confident your child can feed their pet without making a mess. If your young child is making a mess with the food, you may need to take over feeding the pet yourself for a year or two until they are more mature.
Hire a Professional for Pesticide Application
If you do notice any pests inside your home, don't attempt to apply pesticides yourself. Many pesticides are very dangerous for children, and even if you are careful, you could accidentally apply them in a place your child accesses.
Hire a professional pest control company. Trained technicians know how and where to apply pesticides to minimize the risk to your children's health. They may also be able to recommend additional chemical-free techniques you can use to safely rid your home of pests.
Discuss Signs of an Infestation With Your Kids
Whether it's cockroaches, mice, or ants, the sooner you begin treating an infestation, the better. There may be places in your home where your children spend more time than you do, such as a basement playroom or computer room. You don't want an infestation in these areas to go untreated because your children didn't tell you they saw ants.
Talk about bugs, rodents, and the signs of an infestation with your kids. Ask them to tell you if they notice:
- A musky odor
- Scurrying or crawling noises
- Chew marks on furniture
- Fecal matter or a substance that looks like coffee grounds
- Bugs of any kind
The odor your child complains of might end up being a smell from outside, and the bug they see might be a single fly that snuck in - but you're better safe than sorry.
Follow the tips above to make pest control safe and effective in a family situation. If you do notice pests in your home, contact Aardvark Pest Control to schedule an appointment.