How to Pest-proof Your Home

Crushing pests and taking names with these four methods

By CS Ming / 14 April 2022

pestOm, nom, nom, nom. Free food and real estate, what can be better than that?! Source: victorpest

  • Dry them out
  • Stop inviting them in with your stink
  • Patch those holes
  • Say bye bye to their habitat

My mom once told me that we should always be generous to our guests. So it comes as no surprise that we usually stuff our guests with cookies, milk and other home-cooked meals that have been lovingly prepared. But what about the unwanted guest? 

What about those guests who walk on six hairy legs or have dirty whiskers and long tails? We call them pests! Yes, the names rhyme, but their meanings are worlds apart.

The idea is that we don’t always need to be a generous, gracious host to our guests, especially the uninvited ones. Give me a moment. I’m going to the garage to get my flamethrower. Meanwhile, why don’t you read this guide while I prepare it?


1/ No water, no problem!

Pest Pokok.AsiaOur leftover drink is an oasis for these pests. Source: sprudge

Pests have a resilience that borders on the supernatural. These creatures can survive for months without food, but will last around a week without water. Get the hint? Hence the best way to show them the door is by depriving them of water. Now how do we do this? Begin by draining the dishwater from the sink because that is where the bulk of their water supply comes from. 

The same goes to those leaky faucets that act as veritable water dispensers for your unwanted guests. Also, make it a habit of wiping  any spilt liquid off the counter and table as soon as you spot them as puddles are cockroach magnets. Take note that a drop of water is all a roach needs to stay alive for a long while. Yuck!

What else? I often leave my unfinished drink overnight only to find a group of ants slurping it up. So be sure to empty them next time before going to sleep. Moving on, any excess water collected inside the drip-trays of your indoor flower pots should also be poured out. Once that has been achieved, then it is time to starve those creatures out of your house.

Leftover crumbs from your meal are generous donations, although you may never have thought of it this way. The thing about me is that I like to walk around and eat simultaneously, greatly increasing the distribution area.  What can I say? I am an advocate for donation.

Back to the kitchen, you may want to clear up your dirty dishes right after eating as pests are known to snack on whatever is left on the plate. I usually leave them for a week because I want to cultivate fungus for my science project. No, that is a lie! 


2/ What smells to you is perfume to pests

Pest Pokok.AsiaThat’s not a dustbin. That’s an all-you-can-eat buffet! Source: unsplash

We Malaysians have such wonderful traditional dishes. In fact, some of them are so amazing that aeroplanes, hotels and inns actually ban them due to the offensive smell they emit. Food containing prawn paste, durian and other fermented material comes to mind. Boy do they smell, but god do we love them!

The smell may elicit either delight or horror from your neighbours, depending on their tastes, but the cockroaches and rats certainly approve of it. They can smell it from miles away and will make a beeline to your house.

Further on, cooking brings about leftovers which is another source of the odour. Smells produced by the decomposition of meat-based products are oftentimes stronger compared to vegetables. 

Reduce it by placing residual flesh and those unwanted organs into a dry package that is tightly sealed. It is best to dispose of the garbage before decomposition sets in to prevent the risk of leakage. Either that or you could adopt a vegetable-rich diet instead. As an added bonus, going vegetarian is good for the environment.


3/ Patch those holes

Pest Pokok.AsiaThat small crack is a door to your home! Source: designingbuildings

Do you notice any cracks and holes in the wall? They look small, alright, but to a mouse, it is equivalent to a highway into your home. You will be surprised how flexible their bodies can be. That’s why we hear horror stories of people finding mice in their toilet bowls.

Do a routine check on the condition of your wall at least once every year and seal any opening with mortar. Next, examine the doors and windows as these can have tiny gaps, made either by design or by faults. 

Close these openings by applying adhesive rubber strips that were meant to make the window and door waterproof. If water can’t come in, you can bet those furry, slimy invaders won’t be able to get in as well.


4/ Torch their homes!

Pest Pokok.AsiaWhat a cosy, comforting home. Source: ptes

A pile of dried leaves may look like a pile of dried leaves to your eyes, but certainly not for the rats, termites and cockroaches. It may be their version of JW Marriott Hotel or the Seven Seasons, decorated with moist, slimy decor and the occasional rotting morsel to chew on. 5 stars! Rodent friendly. Your pet flea is also allowed inside.

Pests can form intermediary nests before graduating over to your home. Seemingly innocuous objects in your backyard may present ideal breeding grounds, such as cardboard boxes, woodpiles, open containers and even the bushes in the garden. 

Termites especially are drawn to dead wood, and they will do a real number on the foundation of your house once the current supply has diminished.

If you no longer have any purpose for these objects, then the next course of action is to remove them. A pristine lawn with flat ground cover presents a little hiding place for pests, and the sunlight will drive home the message that they are not welcome here! 

Moreover, you can use stones instead of grass as a groundcover to make your lawn area even more inhospitable. Gosh, I am so evil. Also, check the rain gutter along the roof and remove the dead leaves within it.Clogged gutters should always be cleaned, unlike the kitchen sink, although its elevated position usually leaves it in neglect.


Actually, we are to blame

Tragically this article has been inappropriately worded with hate towards pests in general. But the truth is that we are ultimately responsible for inviting them into our lives, indirectly, of course. 

The poor cockroaches and rats are merely eking out an existence in this cruel world. Perhaps it is also comforting for you to know that no pests were hurt during the production of this article.


Looking for more related article? Check them out here:

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