The best way to stop pests from getting in your home is to block their entrance. Tiny cracks and spaces in walls, cabinets and the house foundation that look minutely small to you are a grand entrance for insects and rodents. Mice can squeeze through spaces as small as 1/4-inch, rats can go through 1/2-inch spaces, immature roaches can fit through a space as thin as a dime and ants can squeeze through a crack that is only 1 mm in size. Locate and seal up all potential entry points to keep pests out.
Things You'll Need
Silicone or acrylic latex caulk
Water-based latex paint
Steel wool or copper mesh
Fill in small cracks inside and around cabinets, where the wall and floor connects, around baseboards and where fixtures meet the walls with silicone or acrylic latex caulk. Use enough caulk to completely cover the crack. For a neater appearance, smooth over the wet caulk with a gloved finger moistened with water.
Seal small cracks on the walls, on wood surfaces and on flooring with a coat of water-based latex paint.
Stuff steel wool or copper mesh in large cracks that are 1/2-inch wide or larger, followed by an application of caulk or a coat of spackle.
Apply spackle over cracks in exterior walls and the house foundation, followed by a coat of house paint. You may have to apply several coats of spackle to completely cover larger cracks before painting.
Besides cracks, there are other openings through which pests can gain entrance into the home. To block these openings, install door sweeps at the bottom of exterior doors; repair holes in window and door screens; fill spaces around vents, pipes and fixtures with spray foam or silicone caulk; and place wire mesh screens over vent openings.
- City of Chandler, Arizona: Roach Control
- The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture: How to Pest-Proof Your Home; Michael F. Potter; December 2007
- NYC.gov: How to Control Pests Safely
- Happy Pest Control: Ant pest control & extermination in San Diego.
- Allison Pest Control: Rodents - Rats, Mice, and Voles in New Jersey