6 Frugal Ways to PREVENT Pest Problems

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by the author of What School Should Have Taught You: 75 Skills You’ll Actually Use in Life

I was at a house the other day that had some pest problems. We’re talking pest problems to the point that they potentially would have needed to call an exterminator.

This got me thinking about all the ways that one could go about helping to make their home as pest-free as possible. Prevention is definitely the key here. Not only could these simple steps end up saving you money on an exterminating fee, but they also would keep you from sharing your living space with unwanted guests.

Here are a few of the frugal/health-friendly ways I think you could better pest-proof your house…

“I tried to pop that zit for you last night, but I just couldn’t get it.”

Take your garbage out regularly and store it away from your home.

Don’t store all your trash right beside your house if you can help it. Trash is full of food and all kinds of critters like rotting food. If you store your trash right beside your house, you’re simply inviting bugs and rodents to come on down to the buggy version of Golden Corral – right beside your house. If you’re inviting them right beside your house, they may decide to take an after-dinner stroll around your house to look at all the little cozy nooks and crannies that lead to where you live.

In the same vein, take your garbage out regularly. The longer you let it sit outside, the more critters it’s going to attract. They’ll end up breeding in there too. If you have a weekly trash service, make sure you don’t miss it. If you don’t have a weekly trash service, you are the weekly trash service. Make sure you don’t miss it.

I think this step alone is simple, borderline free, and a huge step in the right direction.

Check the weather stripping on your doors.

If you can see daylight through your doors, then you have an opening where all kinds of little buggies can walk right in to see what you’re doing there in the kitchen. They may decide that they like it there inside your home too.

So please, get new weather stripping on your doors if you need it. You can pick up a big ol’ strip of this stuff at your local Lowe’s for all of $20. It is worth it. An exterminator costs much more than $20. Not to mention that this will keep cold air from blowing into your house in the winter.

If you did just put in new weather stripping, but you can still see daylight, there are little weather stripping wedges that you can purchase. These just kind of stuff into where the daylight is and help seal things off. They work, they’re cheap, and I recommend them.

“I just LOVE your new pantry shelves.”

Don’t store a compost pile right beside your home.

You want to make your own compost? Excellent. Just don’t do it right beside your home. Compost is nothing more than a critter attractor. Put it down away from the house for the same reason that you don’t want to leave mounds of garbage right beside your house.

Nip it in the bud

If you do notice a pest problem, do something today, right now, to fix it. Don’t wait. Don’t put it off. Do it now. Go out and buy those mouse traps today. Don’t wait for those little boogers to breed. Fix where you store your trash today.

Spray pest defense around your home.

I get it, you don’t like spraying chemicals around your home. That’s all fine and well, but spraying some stuff around the outside of your home to keep buggies out is a much healthier option in my book than sharing the same living space with those buggies.

Are you really going to lick your door frame? I don’t think so. But you are going to put the fruit in your fruit bowl on the counter in your mouth, and if you have buggies crawling all over it throughout the day, you’re going to end up with their germs in your mouth.

You can pick up this spray for $15 at Lowe’s. I think it’s worth it.

Windows without screens are not left open.

Maybe if you live in the middle of the desert where nothing can live, you can get away with leaving your windows open without screens. If you live anywhere else, you can’t do this. In The Beautiful South, you’ll have every bug and his extended family coming to join you if you open that dang window.

Get screens on your windows if you don’t have them. Repair the ones that your cat tore. Otherwise, keep that window shut.

These are really simple steps. 

Please take them if you haven’t already. I think they can save you a lot of stress and frustration. They really don’t cost a lot of money, and they are worth it. Also, remember that some money is worth spending. Don’t live on a Scrooge budget for a disgusting shack of a home if you can help it.

What do you think? Have you ever had rodent problems? How did you prevent a recurrence? Do you have other tips? Let us know in the comment section.

About Aden

Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, What School Should Have Taught You, The Faithful Prepper An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.

6 Frugal Ways to PREVENT Pest Problems
Picture of Aden Tate

Aden Tate

About the Author Aden Tate has a master’s in public health and is a regular contributor to PewPewTactical.com, SurvivalBlog.com, SHTFBlog.com, ApartmentPrepper.com, HomesteadAndPrepper.com, and PrepperPress.com. Along with being a freelance writer he also works part-time as a locksmith. Aden has an LLC for his micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has two published books, The Faithful Prepper and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American at Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.

7 thoughts on “6 Frugal Ways to PREVENT Pest Problems”

  1. 7: Employ working pets. A handful of motivated barn cats or a terrier can be invaluable in controlling rodent infestations.
    8: Use traps. My chicken coop has a heated water bucket with steep sides that doubles as a mouse trap; I pull drowned mice out of that bucket a couple times a week, and I’m not even trying to catch them.

  2. -Get an outside cat.
    -Get a good dog.
    -Get a black (nonpoisonous) snake or two.
    -Get a high power BB gun or a varmint gun.
    -Seal up cracks, holes, etc. Check regularly for new cracks, holes, chewed wood, loose roof tiles, etc.
    -Hardiplank/board is critter resistant, but I’ve still had squirrels chew it to bits.
    -No birdfeeders too near the house.
    -No woodpiles too near the house (sorry). Termites, rats, mice, snakes, spiders and wasps love woodpiles.
    -If you have chickens, take in the feeders at night.
    -Use steel wool to plug chewed holes or gaps in coops. If the mice or rats are tenacious, use a mix of steel wool and foam gap filler to plug holes.
    -Inexpensive motion detector lights placed near coops, garbage cans, water spigots, etc. seem to unsettle the nighttime varmints. Move the lights around so the varmints don’t get used to them.
    – Coyote urine spray.
    – Find a good animal control/eviction service and have your exterior, basement and attic properly inspected and sealed. It might be expensive at first, but it may well be worth it because you only pay for yearly inspections and minor repairs thereafter.
    -Keep the grass down.
    -Inside the house, get a dog and a cat.
    -Clean constantly, esp. vacuum, sweep, dust, clean under and behind furniture.
    -Use cleaning products with lavender or other essential oils.
    – Go through your house at night periodically with a flashlight to find sneaky spiders and webs.
    – Shine a flashlight under sinks and around pipes to see if mice have been trying to chew their way in. If a mouse can follow a pipe into your house, so can a snake.
    -Keep toilet seats down. Snakes and rats have been known to come up through the plumbing.
    -Keep shrubbery and tree branches from touching the house.
    -Use metal trim on things like basement doors.
    -Put metal grates over drains.

  3. In a previous house where I lived, it was old and there was no way to keep pests out. Therefore our main effort was to make sure that they didn’t want to stay.

    Food that the mice and rats like was put into airtight containers and up on shelves where they mostly couldn’t reach. If we saw a mouse more than once, our first thought was what is it eating? We then took care of that food source. Our compost pile was in the farthest corner of the back yard. We seldom saw roaches.

    I stayed for a month in an apartment in a place that was roach infested, namely southern, subtropical China. I followed the same principles—garbage taken out ASAP, fresh fruits and vegetables in the ’fridge or airtight containers, dishes cleaned right after eating, and I saw no more roaches in the apartment. Take care of the food sources, and the pests didn’t stay.

    That was my answer when living in situations where I could not keep the pests out.

  4. Spiders are our friends…granted, you don’t want to play with black widows and brown recluses and such, and some people have a phobia, which I understand and appreciate, but they do a fine job of getting rid of many pest type insects. Don’t kill them, just capture them and move them.

  5. In the middle of the desert there will be MORE bugs! Looking for whatever moist stuff you may have! Diatomaceous earth can help with ants and other creepy crawlies and so can powdered cinnamon. For gardens, inter-planting certain herbs (such as marigolds) and also strongly scented culinary herbs can also help with pest control. Moisture management on houseplants can also be important – not only can overwatering damage roots, it can also attract gnats and such.

    Clutter and woodpiles outside, and tons of boxes or other storage containers inside, can make hidey holes for all sorts of pests. It’s a good reason to declutter.

    I love your point about compost, Aden! Good reminder about where to put the pile. Inside the house, it also helps to have a tightly sealed lid on your collection container.

  6. Here’s one tip I didn’t see posted yet, although it was briefly referred to. 1-2 yrs ago, one evening I forgot to remove any traces of food off the kitchen counter and after dinner I noticed we’d suddenly had a humongous fire ant problem (it took 2 wks to eradicate them w/o calling an exterminator).

    What I did will work for other pest problems: while preparing your meals, anything that has food/food smell on it –ex: paper towels– is placed inside the freezer rather the kitchen trashcan where it can ‘draw’ unwanted ‘guests’.

    Here I use a sandwich or any-bag slated to be thrown out, to collect the paper or plastic soiled items in the freezer, then it’s removed w/the rest of the trash on Garbage Day (ours is weekly). If you use cloth to clean kitchen surfaces, keep a bowl handy w/water & soap/detergent (opt. a drop of bleach); hand-wash them then hang to dry.

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