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Simple pest control steps to take at home before calling an exterminator

(BPT) – Home is where the heart is, and you strive to make it a welcoming place. Whether you’re just moving in or you’ve been living in your house for decades, bugs can become a concern at any time — even in brand-new builds. The moment you notice ants, roaches and other pests, it’s time to act and take cues from those with experience, before you have to hire an expensive exterminator.

There are many pests that can damage property with one of the most common across the United States being roaches. In fact, 14 million of the approximately 124 million occupied U.S. housing units reported seeing roaches in their homes during the last 12 months, according to the 2019 U.S. Census Bureau American Housing Survey.

Whether it’s roaches, spiders, wasps or other insect species, having to hire an exterminator to handle a pest problem can be costly. According to 2022 HomeAdvisor estimates, the cost for a one-time pest control visit averages between $300 and $550. Depending on your specific pest problem, that figure could rise into the thousands.

Taking a proactive approach to protecting your home and family by treating issues yourself can save you hundreds of dollars per year and is easy to do. Backed by 65 years of research and innovation from entomologists at the SC Johnson Center for Insect Science and Family Health™, Raid professionals are sharing their library of knowledge with everyone to help solve bug problems this year. Below are some of the most effective steps homeowners can take:

Secure the perimeter: Inspect the perimeter of the home and cover up any cracks and openings to prevent bugs from entering your home. If you see any holes, caulk them or conduct repairs to cover them up.

Seal doors: Cover unsealed gaps in doors that go outside and install a door sweep for added protection. Add weather stripping or door-seal kits to the frame to keep insects from entering along the sides or top of the door.

Tidy the kitchen: The kitchen attracts a wide variety of insects. Open or improperly stored food can quickly turn the kitchen into a breeding ground for bugs. Make sure your food is stored in tightly sealed containers or bags. Make a habit of keeping your floors and counters clean and clear of food crumbs by sweeping, vacuuming and wiping down surfaces throughout the day.

Tackle your pest problem: If you notice pests, treat the problem right away. The Raid brand offers a variety of products designed to help you control infestations as soon as you spot them — so small bugs don’t become a big problem.

Use screens: If you want to naturally ventilate your home, install screen mesh windows. A 20 mesh or finer screen will keep out most household pests. If your home already has screens, repair any holes or tears that would allow insect entry.

Avoid standing water: Eliminate pooled water outside the home to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs, and ensure that channels such as drains and gutters flow smoothly and aren’t blocked by leaves and waste. Lastly, inspect the surroundings to ensure that rainwater doesn’t collect in idle pots, tanks and tires.

Clean surroundings: Insects are attracted to food sources including uncovered trash. Ensure that garbage, recycling bins and composting food matter are closed and tightly sealed. Also, clear up trash near and around the home as soon as possible.

For more tips on how to avoid an expensive visit from the exterminator and get bug advice on demand, visit