Unfortunately for people whose houses are infested with ants, roaches or flies, there are a lot of urban myths about household pests, what attracts them, and how to get rid of them. Preventing pest infestations can be simple, but it requires the right background knowledge. You also need to know what food source or condition the pest in question is seeking out, so you can remove what’s attracting them.
One common misconception is that ants are only attracted to spilled sugar or syrup. The truth is that they are attracted to a wide range of food sources, including protein (such as scraps of meat) and even grease. It is generally important to make sure you clean up any scraps, throw your rubbish out regularly, and do your dishes as soon as possible after meal times – no matter what you’ve eaten. Of course, it’s still important to clean up any sweets spilled on the floor.
Another ‘DIY pest control’ myth floating around the internet is that boiling water kills ants. It may kill the ants that it touches right away, but pouring it into a nest will have little effect on the queen and most of the ants, as the water will cool down and drain away before it gets to them. You’re much better off surrounding nest areas with a poison which will be delivered to the centre of the nest before the carrier ant dies.
For those hoping to catch rats and mice, whether in quick-kill traps or catch and release traps, it’s important to know what kind of food they’re attracted to. A common myth is that they love cheese, but actually, they’re more likely to be attracted to sweet and fatty foods such as seeds, nuts, and dried fruit. A bit of plain peanut butter in the trap is likely to do the trick.
For those who have pets, you may find it interesting to know that fleas can survive a relatively long time without a host. Also, not having a host puts them into overdrive, and they search aggressively for something else to latch on to – which might be your other pets, or even you! Fleas can hide in any warm, sheltered surface including carpets and upholstery, so make sure to thoroughly clean your home as part of any pest control measure including insecticides. Also, don’t take any risks with your dogs and cats – make sure their flea treatment is up to date, especially if they’re social with other animals, as you don’t want to risk them bringing fleas inside the house.