So you’ve got an infestation. Here’s what to do next

Some of us were bug kids, so – we get it. Bugs are cool. Yet, when they’re all over your home, many of us start to rethink our initial perspective on our creepy crawly friends. Infestations can happen in any kind of climate, for any kind of reason. You may think that you can avoid an infestation simply by keeping your home clean, but the unfortunate reality is that simple “cleanliness” is not everything. Bug- free and “clean” do not always coincide.

If you suspect that you might have an infestation and have noticed a few bugs hanging around where they shouldn’t be, don’t fret. It’s not the end of the world. Here’s what to do next if you’ve got an infestation in your home.

Find the source.

You’re going to have to do some poking around. It’s not always easy to find the source of an infestation but knowing where they’re all coming from can give you some insight into how severe the infestation is and how to start getting rid of them. Most bugs – especially ants – are drawn to whatever food sources you have in your home. That fruit bowl you’ve left out on your counter? That’s a temptation. Candy in your snack drawers? There’s another. Obviously, you can’t not have food in your home, but check around to see if there’s any edibles in plain view – especially any edibles with a strong scent. Have you spilled or dropped anything recently?

Bugs also like moist areas, especially in the dryer seasons. You may want to look around your kitchen, in corners, in cupboards, bathrooms, and other areas that could be damp. Your basement is also a good place to check. They may be able to crawl through the floor and up to the areas where there’s access to food, so don’t rule out anything below ground.

Once you’ve located the infestation, it’s time to get rid of it.

Tips for getting rid of an infestation.

There isn’t always a single way to get rid of an infestation, but we’ve got a couple tips you can try. Consider the following:

  • Block any entryways you find that the infestation might be using to come inside your home from the outdoors. Check garages, cracks in the walls, your attic, basement, pipes. This might be tough, especially as bugs can slip through some small spots.
  • Use chalk powder as a bug repellent. If you notice that bugs are coming in through a certain way, you can try drawing a line to deter them.
  • If you can find their nest, relocate them. You might need to check some YouTube videos for this one, but generally a pot will suffice that you may fill with dirt, straw, or even wood wool and transport the bugs elsewhere.
  • Try bug traps. You can buy them from store, or you can DIY them. If you have any pets, be cautious of this step as bug traps can carry poisons that may harm Fido or Fluffy.
  • Try a bug spray. A lot of bugs dislike certain smells, and cinnamon, thyme, chervil, and even garlic are commonly despised amongst the insect community. Even white vinegar and lemon juice will serve as good deterrents. Make a spray by yourself or purchase one and spray it in areas that the bugs seem to collect the most.

How do you prevent an infestation?

Most infestations can be prevented. Consider the following tips to reduce your chances of sharing your lovely home with some newfound bug friends:

  • Pets and babies can cause a lot of excess food to be left lying around, which bugs and infestations will appreciate. Be sure to clean up thoroughly after your pets/babies have eaten and close food in air-tight containers – especially kibble, as it has a strong odour.
  • Check your walls and windows for cracks or seals.
  • Store leftover food by closing it in air tight containers, clean up crumbs, and wash down any countertops that might have crumbs or debris.
  • Take any bugs you find outside right away. Bugs, like ants, can release pheromones to attract other ants, especially if they spy a food source.
  • Empty your garbage frequently and make sure it has a tight lid.

Sometimes, things happen. But the best thing you can do is be proactive and ensure that your home isn’t appealing to infestations – as tempting as it is to leave that freshly baked pie out on the countertop overnight for your family and friends to pick at. The bugs will enjoy it, too!

If all else fails, call pest control.

If your prior attempts at deterring your creepy crawly invaders have all failed, it’s time to call pest control. Exterminators may be able to target the bugs from their source or, in larger scale infestations, tent the whole place. If you suspect early on that your infestation may be much larger than you are prepared to tackle, it won’t hurt to call an exterminator as soon as you notice an issue. Just know that home, renter’s, or condo insurance won’t cover your costs – including any damages caused by the bugs and any necessary expenses to recoup following an infestation. This is because your home, renter’s, and condo policies all consider infestations to be the cause of a lack of maintenance on your part and, as the homeowner, you’re expected to look after your place!