Tips On How to Safely Control Pests Around Your House

safely control pests around your house

About four weeks ago the weather in our city switched from being nice and warm to blowing snow and freezing temperatures, all within a 24 hour period, and it hasn't stopped snowing since. And as soon as it got cold out spiders and such, found their way into our basement because they were looking for a warm place to hang out. And if that wasn’t enough to “bug us” (ha…ha…), we bought some bananas from our local grocery store that had been shipped in from Guatemala, and suddenly we had nasty fruit flies everywhere. They are so difficult to kill because those things just seem to fly around in little circles, and out of nowhere a black fruit fly will fly past my computer monitor and the next thing I know I am beating on my monitor in the hopes of hitting the fly.

If having spiders, flies and other rodents in your home make you feel as uncomfortable as they make me, here are some tips on how to safely control pests around your house.


Keep your kitchen very clean. Take out the garbage regularly and do not leave anything with sugar out on its own. In our case we had green bananas on our counter top, and the fruit flies seem to love them. As soon as they turned yellow, I peeled all of the bananas and froze them. As well, I quickly took the banana peels out to the garbage.


Vacuum and dust the items in your basement frequently, and wash any floors with hard surfaces. Keep the area around your furnace and water drain clean.

If you have items stored in boxes in your basement and they are just sitting on the floor, consider buying large Rubbermaid containers to put your things in and get rid of the boxes.

Another thing we do to make it easier to clean the basement is to keep our items that are in containers on a cheap but sturdy shelving unit that you can buy at any hardware store. This way we can easily clean under the bottom of the shelves instead of having to move containers around to clean behind them.

Outside of the House

Do a walk around the outside of your house and remove any debris such as leaves, any odd branches, and any odd pieces of garbage that may have blown around your neighbourhood.

The next thing we do and you may not agree with this, but, while wearing a mask and gloves we spray a pesticide outside on the foundation of the house, and around the bottom of all the doors. We do this as soon as it gets cold out and again in the spring. If using pesticides makes you feel uncomfortable you can always hire a company to do the spraying for you.

Following these tips significantly reduces the amount of spiders and other bugs around our house which makes me feel much better. Now if it would only get warmer out.


    • Corina Ramos

      Corina Ramos 11/18/2013 6:53 a.m. #

      Girl, I almost your image scared the ba-geezus out of me! I have a phobia for big cockroaches and the one on your image is gross, lol...i hate those things and I know for a fact they chase me!

      These are great tips Sicorra! I have to have my kitchen clean before I got to bed for that reason...I don't want those bugs to have any reason for visiting ;)

      I don't have a basement and Mario is in charge of the outside and carefully sprays outside.

      We had a sugar ant problem a couple months ago but we took care of that.

      Happy Monday my friend! Let's try and catch up today!

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 11/18/2013 4:39 p.m. #

        Your comment is funny, but I am sorry it scared you so, esp first thing in the morning. Sugar ant problems are the worst. Good to hear that you got it taken care of.

        • Corina Ramos

          Corina Ramos 11/24/2013 11:34 a.m. #

          LOL...Girl I'm deathly afraid of them and that's why I take every precaution to keep them out. :)

          Hope you're having a good weekend and staying warm my friend!

    • Deacon Hayes

      Deacon Hayes 11/18/2013 10:01 a.m. #

      I think the Kitchen is the culprit for the pests that we get in our place. We try to keep it clean, but sometimes we overlook areas like under the cabinets where stuff falls. By the way, using cheap containers to store stuff and make it easier to clean is a great idea!

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 11/18/2013 4:40 p.m. #

        There is so much in the kitchen that can attract pests. From sugar to food is a gold mine for them. And once they find it they probably tell all their buddies too. At least that is the way it feels. Thanks for stopping by Deacon!

    • Shannon @ The Heavy Purse

      Shannon @ The Heavy Purse 11/18/2013 11:51 a.m. #

      Ugh. Pests are such a pain and I hate fruit flies. We try to keep everything as tidy as possible to avoid bugs. We don't have a basement and that helps, I think. :) It sounds like you're full-on winter there. Our weather is cooling down but we still have our yo-yo days. 80 then 60. I'm not complaining!

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 11/18/2013 4:43 p.m. #

        Fruit flies and ants are a real pain. They are so small yet they drive me nuts.

        Temps in the 60s to 80s is lovely. You definitely chose the right city to live in. I would be so happy. It is suppose to be minus 27 here on Tuesday. Yuck!

    • Coupons Canada

      Coupons Canada 11/19/2013 6:55 a.m. #

      I completely agree with the kitchen rule. Always keep it clean! Especially those places that are often forgotten, like inside cupboards and behind stoves and fridges.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 11/21/2013 10:42 a.m. #

        I remember you doing a post about your cleaning routine a few years ago, esp about cleaning your fridge. I love a clean kitchen as well, even all the little details.

    • Sue Neal

      Sue Neal 11/22/2013 6:14 a.m. #

      Great tips - I'd add that if you have dogs and cats, you need to keep up with the flea-prevention treatments - they cost a fortune, but it's much better than having to deal with an infestation of fleas!

    • Maggie@SquarePennies

      Maggie@SquarePennies 11/22/2013 7:57 a.m. #

      We had cockroaches at my daughter's house in the South. You can't keep them out 100%, but we did put out bait that killed most of them. Mix half flour with half diatomceous earth and set out for them to eat. We used lids from jars to hold the bait and put them behind the toilet, behind a shelf in the laundry room etc. It works! Just don't use where pets could get at it.

    • Tanya @ Eat Laugh Purr

      Tanya @ Eat Laugh Purr 11/22/2013 2:01 p.m. #

      I do not like bugs. Max on the other hand thinks they are the next best thing to an extra handful of treats. He thinks it's great fun to chase an ant or spider. Fruit flies are the worst for me. I need to remember to put food waste in a separate bag and throw out daily. Normally I just put in my garbage but that generally takes a few days to get full. Thanks for the great tips, Sicorra. Have a great weekend!

    • Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Families

      Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Families 11/22/2013 5:50 p.m. #

      These are great tips. I always suggest taking care of the issue before it starts helps prevent pests from invading your home.

    • CarolB

      CarolB 11/24/2013 4:57 a.m. #

      Great tips! Got any advice for stink bugs? Not sure if you've been invaded by these annoying and yes, stinky, bugs. They arrived here from China a few years ago and have no natural predators here. We've been using a wet-vac to suck them up.

    • Donna

      Donna 11/24/2013 9:58 p.m. #

      I hate bugs in my house. And cockroaches are the nastiest bugs ever. Ugh! Not a bug, but spiders are what get into our basement, the most. I'm usually not scared of them, though, my husband is. :) That's our little secret, though.

    • Arelis Cintron

      Arelis Cintron 11/25/2013 3:17 p.m. #

      Yes it is that time of the year where all the bugs/insects etc start to find a place to warm up for the winter. I'm hoping not to run into any spiders :(

      It flurried in my neck of the woods on Saturday. Its been such a warm Fall but now the temperatures are starting to correct themselves. I can't wait for spring!

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