Nothing can possibly go more wrong than guests complaining about pest menace in your holiday home. All you efforts of preparing a spotless home for your guests can be undone by just an insect as tiny as the bed bug or a cockroach. Open any traveler forum and you will find several instances where they are discussing about some property which they had to leave midway their vacation because it was infested with pests. And I don’t blame them! It is a very common mistake that many holiday home owners, while put in all their efforts on decorating and refurbishing their homes actually don’t give importance to pest control. But little do they realize that these creepy crawlies can create a huge dent on her/ his property’s brand image.
In this article we will give you some top tips to ensure that your holiday home is pest-free and also outline some do-it-yourself pest control ideas.
PROFESSIONAL HELP: If you have noticed any kind of pests in your property, make it a point to go for a thorough professional pest control. However ask them to use herbal pesticides wherever possible. In case of high infestation, chemical pesticides are unavoidable. Since most pest control companies offer annual maintenance, go for one. These packages do not cost much and are worth the investment. Also make sure that you keep a period of at least one week from the day of pest control before you start taking bookings. So don’t forget to block these days on your availability calendar.
FIND THE SOURCE: To do away with pests like cockroaches, rats, mice, ants, etc. it is very important to know the source – where are they entering the house from and what are the things that are attracting them? Only after these sources are plugged or eliminated will you be able to make your home pest-free.
OUTDOORS: To ensure a pest-free home, it is very important to have clean outdoors. Dry leaves, garbage strewn on the lawn, stagnant water, open drains and an ill-maintained swimming pool are all potential breeding grounds for pests, which then start entering the house. Even ill-maintained potted plants can become a nuisance. So make sure that the outdoors, the potted plants are well maintained, the swimming pool when not in use is emptied and cleaned thoroughly.
MATTRESSES/ SOFAS: Ideally these are places where we spend most of our time and when we spend more time there will be occasions when we will like to snack or eat while watching TV or reading a book. Unknown to us the tiny crumbs and food particles that get accumulated at the crevices of the mattresses or sofa upholstery attract pests like ants and cockroaches. So it is a good idea to always vacuum sofas and mattresses with a long thin nozzle attachment that can reach the areas that are ideally not visible.
NATURAL REPELLENTS: These repellents made with lemon grass oil, neem (Azadirachta indica) oil or eucalyptus oil, etc. are not only effective, but are also safe on the skin and environment. If you have a caretaker on duty, while guests are out of the house, he can use incense powder to smoke out flies and mosquitoes.
BUY COUPLE OF PEST CONTROL DEVICES: Buy a mosquito/ fly trap. These vary from brand to brand and either run on electricity or are powered by propane tanks. They range from indoor units which are the size of an air-purifier to large outdoor units that resemble a barbecue grill. If you are usually victim of pests like carpenter bees, install netting on your windows. Use the ones that are stuck to the window panes by Velcro. Ideally netting on windows spoil the look of the house, so using the detachable netting can ensure that you can use them only during the breeding season, when you see more of these pests.
DO-IT-YOURSELF PEST CONTROL:
Here are some are time-proven ways to deter and eradicate pests that you will definitely find helpful:
- Keep ants away from your home with a concoction of borax and sugar. Mix 1 cup sugar and 1 cup borax in a quart jar. Punch holes in the jar’s lid, and sprinkle the mixture outdoors around the foundation of your home and around the baseboards inside your house. The ants are attracted by the sugar and poisoned by the borax.
- If you have cockroaches, sprinkle borax powder in the kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
- Change the water in a birdbath every 3 days to help reduce the mosquito population.
- Carpenter ants are attracted to damp wood. So check your pipes, roof and windowsills for water leaks.
- Cover any holes through which you think rodents can squeeze into your house with wire mesh or white cement. If there are small cracks or holes, put some rat poison and stuff them with steel wool or scouring pads pushed in with a screwdriver. Close the spaces with speckling compound mixed with steel wool fragments or white cement.
- If you have a water fountain with a small pool in your garden, put some live fishes which will feed on larvae of mosquitoes.