If you’re moving into a new house, you’re probably concerned about what may have been left behind: bugs. While not all houses have a bug issue, it’s a good idea to make sure your home is bug free before moving in, especially if you’ve purchased an older house. Bugs carry diseases, create unsanitary conditions, and some procreate very quickly. There are things you can do to eradicate house bugs from your new home, and ways to help ensure that they don’t come back in the future.
1. Debug During Renovations
If you’re renovating any part of your home, you can use this opportunity to place repellents in various locations of your home’s structure. For instance, you or a contractor can apply a desiccant dust in the walls. When bugs try to walk across this dust, their insides are cut open and they die of dehydration. Just make sure to order pesticide grade instead of pool grade, as the latter can be dangerous to your health. Additionally, if you’re doing any flooring, you can seal the floors with polyurethane. Lastly, sealant caulk can be used on moldings.
2. Treat Your Foundations
You can use insecticides or pesticides to rid your foundations of infestations. Or you can use boric acid or diatomaceous Earth as a safer alternative. Once this area has been treated, you can help prevent future infestations by sealing gaps with trim, caulk or foam. Lastly, you’ll want to keep the foundation clear of foliage like grass, leaves or wood.
3. Seal Around Pipes
After debugging your home, you may also want to do a thorough search of any openings around pipes that extend through to the inside of your home. These include pipes for water, gas, electrical and air-conditioning. You can use sealant or caulk to fill small openings, and expandable polyurethane foam for larger ones. Copper mesh and steel wool are a nice addition to sealants as they provide an extra deterrent layer.
4. Use a Debug Monitor Before You Settle In
A debug monitor is a relatively new invention that attracts bedbugs by mimicking a human body. The monitor uses carbon monoxide to draw out bugs and attract them to the monitor. These can most effectively be used under bed legs or furniture, as the bugs will climb up and down the legs in order to feed. The three types of monitors currently available are called Climbup Insect Interceptor, CDC3000, and NightWatch. So far, these monitors have had great results.
5. Use Bedbug-Sniffing Dogs
While there is a bit of debate about the accuracy of bed-bug sniffing dogs, ones who have been properly trained are said to have a 97% accuracy rate, as opposed to humans’ 30% accuracy rate. These dogs are trained exclusively to sniff out bugs. Small dogs are generally used, so that handlers can lift the dogs to high locations in order to get a thorough read. These dogs can be expensive to rent, but they do provide another option for those who can afford the expense.
6. Hire a Professional Inspector
Pest control inspectors do thorough searches of interior properties in order to assess and treat any insect issue. They use equipment such as UV lights and telescoping meters to locate infestations, and then rid the home of bugs accordingly. Inspectors can return periodically to make sure the home has remained bug-free and to halt any future infestations before they get out of hand. Inspectors can’t always locate new house bugs, so their services should be used in addition to other measures.
7. Use a Bug Bomb
Bug bombs are relatively easy to use before you move into a new home. You’ll need to secure all windows and doors, leave open any inner doors, drawers or cupboards, and then vacate the house for about three hours, or however long it recommends on your particular bomb information. Once you return to the house, you’ll want to open all windows and doors that you can, and then leave the house for a few more hours while the bomb dissipates. A bug bomb won’t get rid of the bugs, of course, so after bombing you’ll want to do a thorough cleaning in order to pick up any dead bugs. Once you move into your home it will be harder to bomb, especially if you have pets, due to health issues from the toxic spray making contact with people and appliances. Therefore, bombing before you move anything in can be the best option.
8. Use Plug-In Repellents
Once you’ve rid your new home of bugs, you’ll want to implement measures to keep your home bug free. One option is to use a plug-in repellent. These repellents use ultrasonic sound waves to keep bugs and even mice away from an area. However, they can only provide a limited range of effectiveness, as the sound waves don’t extend past a small radius, and pests can get used to the sound over time. Therefore, plug in repellents are best used along with other measures.
9. Sticky Traps
Sticky traps work just how they sound: they effectively trap bugs that have walked across the trap in order to feed. Sticky traps work best when they are placed in locations that bugs like to frequent, like up against baseboards, near refrigerators, and even inside cabinets. Just make sure that the traps are either out of the way of pets, or that your pets don’t have an interest in the trap. While the trap is relatively safe, ingestion by a pet–or human–can be dangerous.
10. Indoor Bug Spray
Of course you won’t want to rely on bug spray alone, but keeping some on hand can be a great way to kill bugs as you see them. The spray is highly poisonous and kills bugs on contact. It often smells quite strong, and you’ll want to wipe it up right away in order to keep the area clean. Be sure to put the dead bugs in the trash so that the carcasses don’t attract other bugs.
Purchasing a new home can be really exciting, so you don’t want new house bugs to ruin that excitement. If you’ve purchased an older piece of property, you’ll especially want to take measures to debug your home. This will help keep you and your family safe for years to come.