Few insects are welcome in and around the home. Butterflies? Yes. Spiders? Perhaps the nonpoisonous kind, as they eat thousands of unwelcome bugs each year. Termites and carpenter ants? Definitely not. These two types of pests can cause extensive damage to a home, damage not typically covered by insurance. Read on to learn how to prevent an infestation. If they already arrived, get info on how to control them and fix the damage already caused.

Practice Integrated Pest Management

Integrated pest management combines several methods to prevent infestation and damage to your home. The goal of IPM is to remove attractants and to use the most economical and least hazardous methods for control, making this an excellent option for homes with small children and pets.

For example, the United States Environmental Protection Agency's helpful pamphlet Citizen's Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety recommends removing or destroying places where these pests can hide outdoors, such as piles of wood under or around your home. The EPA also directs homeowners to remove diseased plants, tree prunings, and fallen fruit and leaves. It recommends keeping vegetation, shrubs and any wood mulch at least 18 inches from the home.

The Orkin website also has tips for homeowners. It stresses the importance of repairing leaking faucets , water pipes and air conditioning units as well as diverting water from the foundation of your home. You should seal entry points around water pipes and utility lines, and even place screens on outside vents.

If the pests already have arrived, IPM involves taking these steps:

  1. Identifying the pest problem-You need to know what you're dealing with in order to manage it.
  2. Deciding how much pest control is necessary-As noted, some spiders are beneficial and not a danger.
  3. Choosing an effective option-The United States Environmental Protection Agency offers the helpful pamphlet, Citizen's Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety, which offers more information about IPM through both non-chemical and chemical pets controls.
  4. Evaluating the results-Give it time to work, then asses how well it worked or didn't.

The Molly Maid website also offers additional information about preventing and getting rid of insects , including How to Get Rid of Flies and Keep Bugs Out of the House, Make Your Kitchen a No-Fruit-Fly Zone, and Get Rid of Bed Bugs. Molly Maid also has available the helpful infographic, How to Make Your Home a Bug Free Zone. In it, you learn that there are nearly 1.5 million ants for every human on the planet, but that you can best prevent their arrival by keeping a clean home.

Evaluate and Fix the Damage Caused by Pests ASAP


If the termites or carpenter ants were able to cause damage to your home without you noticing it, a professional handyman can help. He or she will perform an inspection of your home to evaluate the extent of the damage, and then a crew can get to work repairing the affected wood. It may be able to removed compromised wood and use wood hardener or filler to repair the area. Or a full replacement of an area of wood on your home may be required.

Most homeowners outsource these carpentry tasks to a skilled handyman, as a serious termite or carpenter ant infestation can result in structural weaknesses within a home. The work should be done in conjunction with pest control to ensure the repairs will not need to be made again in mere months because the termites or carpenter ants were not completely removed. You also will want to put into practice the above IPM prevention methods to keep new colonies from inviting themselves into your home.

Mr. Handyman can maintain your home to save you money. One call really does take care of everything on your to-do list. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service now online.