Fruit Flies, Bedbugs and Termites, Oh My…
It is very common to move into a new place and encounter some unwanted guests. Of course, you may have also bought some used furniture to fit in your tight budget and did not realize you were bringing home a ton of friends too. Either way, they do not have to become permanent residents in your home. Getting rid of them is simpler than you probably think.
The first step in getting rid of fruit flies is to evaluate the area. Where are they coming from and what is attracting them? Fruit on the counter is a personal invitation. If you have onion or potato storage bins, check if there are any in there. Do you keep scraps for compost indoors? Take them outside and buy a container that seals better.
If you have dishes in your sink, they need to be washed, and old dishrags, sponges and mops need to be replaced with clean ones. Quite often, garbage disposals and plumbing are the problem; pouring boiling hot water down the sink will often help. After you do all this, scrub everything. you may have watermelon juice splattered behind the toaster that you don’t see.
Then, you want to set dishes of apple cider vinegar with a few drops of detergent in it out on the counters. The smell of fermenting fruit will attract them and the detergent will kill them.
Most people do not even want to consider the fact that they could be sharing their bed with bugs, but the problem is much more prevalent than you think. Before you toss your mattress out the window, try these simple steps.
- Laundry – All bedding needs to be washed in the hottest water possible. You may even want to soak your sheets and pillow cases in a sink of boiling water from the stove before putting them in the washing machine. Bed bugs can’t survive as long as the water is at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Vacuum – Use an attachment and vacuum every inch of your mattress, box spring and surrounding walls and carpet. Make sure that it seals well. Empty the contents in a bag and remove the bag from home immediately.
- Steam – Borrow or rent a steamer, if you don’t have one ,and steam the mattress and any surrounding furniture, carpet, etc., that can take the heat.
- Powder – Diatomaceous earth works wonders. Just make sure it is a food grade variety, or else it will contain high levels of crystalline silica, harmful to humans and pets. Sprinkle this all over; it dehydrates them to death.
- Spray – There are plenty of bed bug sprays on the market. Comparing them all will help you decide which one is right for you.
Now for the tough one; most people hear the word “termites” and cringle, with good reason. The problem is that not only are they disgusting, they can do a tremendous amount of damage to the foundation of your home. You will need to know which type of termite you are dealing with and then choose from a number of products on the market. Most of these work as bait so the termites that feed take the poison back to the colony.
You will also need to:
- Repair plumbing and structural leaks
- Remove debris and trash around the yard
- Keep your stacked firewood at a far distance from your home
- Keep mulch at least 6 inches away from the foundation of your home
- Make sure rain gutters stay clean
- Face downspouts away from the foundation
- When building decks and porches, avoid allowing wood to directly touch the ground