The Best Home Cleaning Practices to Keep Pests Away

Need some spring cleaning tips for keeping your home free from pests? We have provided methods that will help, from kitchen hygiene to trash management.

Cleaning Practices For Pests

The Best Home Cleaning Practices to Keep Pests Away

May 16, 2024

Spring has arrived and with it have come the bugs. Household cleanliness plays an important role in keeping pests like ants, cockroaches, and mice from infesting a home. By making sure that specific areas of the house are cleaned thoroughly and a few related tasks are completed on a regular basis, you can significantly reduce the risk of infestation.

Let's take a look at a few cleaning tasks and pest prevention tips that can help keep your home free of infestations.

1. Daily Kitchen Cleaning

Crumbs, grease, and spills can attract pests looking for food. Wiping down kitchen counters, dining tables, ovens, and other surfaces is an excellent pest control method that can prevent them from finding anything they can eat and make them less likely to stick around.

Similarly, dishes should be cleaned promptly and, if possible, should not be left out in the sink overnight. If you have a dishwasher, you can store the dirty ones inside while you wait to accumulate enough for a full load. All dry food in the pantry and shelf-stable leftovers should be sealed in an airtight container to prevent mice or bugs from getting inside.

2. Effective Trash Management

Trash should be secured in a bin with a tight-fitting lid, as this will keep out pests and reduce odours that not only smell unpleasant but can attract pests. It should also be taken out regularly and all bins should be cleaned to avoid residues and odours from building up.

Items placed in the recycling bin like bottles, cans, or food containers should be rinsed thoroughly beforehand as well. Standing liquids will attract thirsty pests and allow bacteria to grow, which can present other problems. Regular water is less likely to attract pests because they can get that from anywhere.

3. Regular Cleaning Routines

Food particles, especially small crumbs, can accumulate on floors, carpets, and under furniture. These can be too small for humans to see but can easily be found by bugs or rodents. Vacuuming frequently will prevent these crumbs from attracting pests. For the same reasons, floors that can't be vacuumed should also be mopped regularly.

Dusting surfaces can reduce the likelihood of dust mites and spider webs making their homes inside of yours as well. Entryways are an easy way for outdoor bugs to get inside and should also be kept as clean as possible.

4. Strict Pet Bowl Hygiene

Food bowls and water dishes for cats, dogs, and other pets should be cleaned regularly. The areas surrounding these dishes should be cleaned, too, especially when dry food is involved. As pets take a bite of a hard piece of food, crumbs or other particles will inevitably fly off into the surrounding area. There's also a higher chance of a spill.

Speaking of, dry pet food should be stored in an airtight container and placed on a shelf or somewhere else that isn't on the ground level, which will help keep out pests. Cold pet food should be sealed in the refrigerator and not be allowed to sit out for too long, as its strong odours can attract mice or bugs. Maintaining strict cleaning practices in and around pet areas is essential for keeping pest away.

5. Outdoor Cleaning and Maintenance

Cracks and crevices around the outside of the home, including doors and windows, should be sealed and cleaned to prevent unwanted entry. Similarly, trimming trees and bushes near the home can prevent pests from building homes there and looking to come inside for food.

Although almost nobody enjoys emptying rain gutters, they should be cleaned and kept free of water as much as possible. Standing water is a perfect breeding ground for many pests, especially mosquitos and other flying insects. Leaves that accumulate inside can also provide food for them.

6. Proper Food Storage

Speaking of which, ripe fruit, vegetables, and other perishable food items should be stored in the refrigerator instead of on the counter when possible. Those that aren't supposed to be refrigerated can be placed inside a plastic storage container in the pantry.

You may have noticed that many of these tips are based on doing everything possible to avoid providing food to mice or other pests, as they're likely to skip over houses that don't have nourishment easily accessible.

Reusable grocery bags, boxes, and other storage devices should be checked for bugs and other signs of infestation before they're brought indoors. The pantry and refrigerator should also be checked regularly for expired food, which can often have a bad smell that attracts pests.

This is especially important for mice, which are classified as "opportunistic omnivores." This means that they will eat pretty much anything if given the chance, including thin plastic packaging or paper. Their sharp teeth are strong enough to chew through PVC piping, but a thick plastic container with a lid will be enough to keep them out of your food.

7. Natural Pest-Repelling Cleaning Methods

There are many natural deterrents with strong scents that will discourage pests from remaining in the area. These include things like peppermint oil, lavender, citrus-based cleaners like lemon or lime, cedar, and much more. Not only can they keep your house clean but they act as a natural pest repellent at the same time.

Scented garbage bags are another useful tool, as the odour from the trash usually serves as a powerful signal to pests that food is nearby. The scent from the bag will mask those odours and can prevent them from trying to find a way inside the bin.

Final Thoughts on Maintaining a Pest-Free Home

Keeping a home clean is an important step to keep out bugs, mice, and other pests. Any issues, like spills or stains, should be addressed immediately to prevent creating a welcoming environment for these pests. The surface involved should also be vacuumed or mopped to prevent pests from being attracted to the residue.

To that end, good cleaning practices that can get rid of food crumbs and prevent odours from signalling the presence of food to pests will make them significantly less likely to make their home inside of yours. Scented garbage bags, cleaners with strong odours, and keeping both the kitchen and all entryways to the house clean will also go a long way.

The Benefits of a Professional Cleaning Service

Hiring a professional cleaning company can do wonders for your home's cleanliness. They'll know even more tips and tricks than the ones listed here and can help make sure that pests avoid your beautifully cleaned home and find one that's more inviting. No matter your specific circumstances, a professional cleaning crew can transform your home in ways you never thought possible. Try Luxoclean in Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, and Cambridge for their thorough cleaning services and see how their expert touch can make your home both sparkling clean and pest-free.

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