2 Ways You Might Be Unintentionally Inviting Pests Indoors

You clean and vacuum your place, so why are pests infiltrating your home? If you have found yourself with an unexpected pest problem, you might lie awake at night wondering if rodents, spiders, or cockroaches are scurrying through your place. Fortunately, you might be able to regain control of your house (and your sleep) by making a few simple changes. Here are two ways you might be unintentionally inviting pests indoors, and how you can turn things around:

1: Letting Ivy Grow On Your Home

Nothing makes a house look more nostalgic than a few ivy plants. In addition to growing quickly to cover unsightly siding or brick, ivy can also add an extra layer of insulation to the exterior of your place, keeping your home cooler. To top it off, ivy can make your home look like it came straight from a storybook by adding an element of nature to an otherwise bland home exterior.

Unfortunately, letting ivy grow all over your home might bring the outdoors inside—literally. Here are a few pests that might be able to make their way inside of your home if you let that ivy grow wild:

  • Rodents: Rodents like mice, voles, and rats can use ivy like a highway up the side of your house. Also, since ivy can grow down into your chimney and meander through small holes in your masonry, it can create a path into your home. As soon as a few rodents find their way into your warm home, they can start breeding indoors—making it difficult to tell where they came from.
  • Snakes: Since snakes love cool, shady areas, the ivy growing on the side of your home is a natural habitat. Unfortunately, enjoying your backyard or patio might be difficult if you are constantly worrying about snakes slithering down the side of your place.
  • Spiders: Ivy can also harbor small insects such as Aphids, Spider Mites, and Mealy Bugs, which can act as a powerful food source for larger predators like spiders. Unfortunately, once spiders start thriving on your outer walls, it is only a matter of time until they find their way inside.

To avoid problems, pull down any ivy that might be growing on your home. If you can't seem to part with that gorgeous plant, let it grow in less harmful places, such as up a tree or along a fence line. If you have an existing pest problem because of your ivy, hire a professional pest control company to take care of things. Exterminators can set traps for rodents, capture snakes, and even spray residual pesticides to kill traveling spiders.

2: Ignoring that Damp Basement

If your basement is damp and creepy, you might avoid the area at all costs. Unfortunately, ignoring moisture might mean overlooking a major deficiency in your personal pest control war. Bugs like cockroaches and earwigs are attracted to wet areas, where they can spawn and lay their eggs to their heart's content. Here are a few places you should look out for, and how your exterminator can help:  

  • Leaky Pipes: Pay attention to leaky pipes that run through your basement. If you don't see dripping water, look for water stains on the floor, rust accumulation on metal, or even hard water deposits. Some pipes might only leak when they are being used.
  • Sump Pumps: If you live in an area with a high water table, you might use a sump pump to keep water from flooding your basement. Unfortunately, since sump pumps typically stop pumping when water levels are in check, some versions contain a small amount of standing water that can attract pests. 

If you find leaky pipes or a sump pump filled with water, have a professional plumber remedy the issue as soon as possible. If your basement is crawling with cockroaches and earwigs, ask your exterminator if they can tent and fumigate the area. Since fumigation is toxic to all kinds of pests at all forms of life, the treatment will kill adult bugs, as well as their un-hatched offspring.     

By minding your landscaping and working with exterminators, you might be able to keep your home clean, comfortable, and safe for your family.