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Home > Blog > How To Prevent Pests In Your New Home

How To Prevent Pests In Your New Home

Mar 11, 2024

May through September is the most popular time of year to move, thanks to the warm weather and lack of structured school days. But for you early birds, these next few weeks are also great for making the move from one place to another (good for you!). The winter frost is finally thawing, which is great for carrying boxes but unfavorable for preventing pests. 

Most creepy-crawlies are starting to come out from hiding and be active in the warm weather. That being said, they won’t say no to invading our cozy homes just because the weather is nice again! This is why you might find yourself faced with new pest problems as you start moving into your new home. A house that sat empty for weeks or months on end is appealing to pests who just want an isolated place to nest and forage for food. Let’s discuss the best ways to keep pests from becoming a lasting issue in your new home.

Use Caution With Cardboard

First and foremost, let’s talk cardboard. These boxes are sturdy vessels to transport all of your treasured belongings, but they’re also appealing to many pests for an entirely unrelated reason. Cardboard boxes make excellent hiding spots for tiny critters (spiders, beetles, etc.), especially if the boxes sit untouched for a while. Some pests even eat cardboard, so it’s a good idea to be on the lookout for hungry roaches, termites, and silverfish munching on your boxes! Don’t let your boxes sit out for weeks before the move. If you need to pack well in advance, keep the boxes indoors and away from any doors where pests can sneak inside. 

Do An Initial Deep Clean

Depending on your relationship with chores and cleanliness, this one may seem like an insurmountable task to you. You may not have to do much for an initial cleaning if professionals were brought in before you moved. But it’s a good idea to have a deep cleaning done before your belongings are moved in because this allows you to start fresh without inheriting potential pest issues from the previous residents. Cleaning the house eliminates hidden pest attractants and breeding areas, which no one wants in a new home. The most important tasks to complete are cleaning the floors (vacuuming, mopping, etc.), sanitizing the bathrooms, wiping down the kitchen, and dusting away any cobwebs.

Out With The Old

By this title, we’re not talking about getting rid of everything you own before moving (unless you want a really fresh start). We’re talking about certain items in and around a house that should probably be removed before you settle in. If your new home had previous owners, there could be items left with the house, like the refrigerator or porch swing. A lot of it is based on your discretion, but there are some items that have a higher risk of either attracting pests or containing pests. Some common ones include used rugs, couches, and cushions. Bed bugs and carpet beetles often hide in these. We also recommend taking a look at the mulch and any firewood in the yard, as these can attract frustrating pests like termites — especially if either material is damp.

Seal Cracks & Crevices

Houses naturally develop imperfections over time, which is all the more reason to fix any that you find upon moving in. The longer that cracks and crevices are unsealed, the higher chance of tiny pests using them as their entry points. Inspect the exterior of your house for any cracks and holes, especially around built-in features like doors, windows, and pipes. Seal smaller cracks with waterproof caulk, and fill other holes with steel wool or copper mesh before lining with caulk. If your region has a lot of bad weather or moisture, we suggest inspecting the exterior for cracks on a regular basis.

Eliminate Moisture

When you’re moving into a new home, the last thing you want to hear (besides a box of your breakables crashing down) is that the house has a leak. A leaky pipe not only means that repairs are in order, it’s also an invitation for certain pests to invade. Some insects love a damp environment and need excessive moisture to survive. Roaches, silverfish, crickets, and earwigs are often found near a source of moisture in a house. Check your home for any missed leaks within the first few days, and consider investing in a dehumidifier if one of the less ventilated rooms traps humidity. Also, make sure the gutters and downspout flow without any blockage. Rats and mice invade clogged gutters because they have everything they need in one place!

Prevent Pantry Pests

Stocking your new pantry with food is one of the most satisfying parts of moving, so it’s important to start this process off right. We recommend keeping pantry staples stored in airtight containers with good lids. Baking ingredients, cereals, nuts, seeds, and grains are favored by a notorious group: pantry pests. These insects don’t bite or spread diseases, but they contaminate every food they invade. They are tiny enough to burrow inside an opened container of food and lay their eggs without being noticed. The most common pantry pests include Indian meal moths, flour beetles, and weevils. They can chew through plastic and cardboard, so glass or acrylic containers will protect your food from their insatiable hunger. 

Maintain The Landscaping

The first order of business after moving is unpacking the countless boxes and figuring out where your belongings fit into this new space. When you need a break from this massive task, it’s a good idea to start tidying up the yard and keeping all greenery trimmed down. Every plant, bush, and tree limb should be trimmed back from the house by at least a foot. When plants brush up against the house, they provide pests with a highway straight to your home. Also, make sure nothing is overgrown near any windows or doors because thick brush makes it that much easier for pests to hide out until they find a way inside. Remember: a healthy yard translates to a pest-free yard!

Assess The Trash Situation

Out of the hundreds (or what feels like hundreds) of new routines to learn, the trash situation is one of the most important. It’s easy to overlook trash because — well, it’s trash. But it’s important to learn your new neighborhood’s ways, such as the day of trash pickup and where to store the large cans. Pests clearly love trash based on the number of ants, flies, and yellow jackets we’ve seen around garbage cans. Thus, proper trash management is essential in preventing pests. Take out your indoor trash before it overflows, and use strong trash bags to keep it contained. For the outdoor trash cans, keep the lids closed at all times and don’t store them right up against the house. Keeping them in the garage or a few feet away from the house should keep the pests at bay.

Schedule Services From Romney Pest Control

Whether your new home is freshly built or has a rich history, pests want to enjoy your house too! At Romney Pest Control, we are dedicated to keeping Texas homes pest-free in every season. Our comprehensive services are tailored to solve pest issues in every stage. From prevention to elimination to exclusion, our highly-trained technicians do it all. We provide efficient treatments for home interiors and exteriors that are safe for people but tough on pests. Contact us today to learn more about how our dedicated team will protect your greatest investment from dangerous pests!

Citations

Glover, E. (2022, November 21). What is the best way to prevent a pest infestation?. Forbes Home. Available at https://www.forbes.com/home-improvement/pest-control/how-to-prevent-pests/ (Accessed on March 6, 2024). 

Harney, C. (2023). Reasons new homeowners should get pest control for the first year. Sarah Bernard Realty Team. Available at https://sarahbernardrealestate.com/blog/reasons-new-homeowners-should-get-pest-control-for-the-first-year/ (Accessed on March 6, 2024). 

Removing and preventing bugs after moving to a new home. (n.d.). Raid. Retrieved March 6, 2024, from https://www.raid.com/en-US/education/home-living/removing-and-preventing-bugs-after-moving 

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