Regular vacuuming of home as one of the efficient ways of protecting your home from pests while you travel.

Protecting Your Home from Pests While You Travel

Many people, in general, enjoy traveling, whether to visit new places or get new experiences. Some do it whenever they get the chance, while others use their holidays for recreation and relaxation. Nevertheless, a home usually stays idle for the time being. If no one is there to maintain and clean it, many surprises can wait for you upon return. And, one of the most annoying surprises is pests, from all kinds of tiny bugs to birds and unwelcoming rodents. The type usually depends on the location or whether your home is in urban or rural surroundings. But, without a doubt, they are everywhere. Knowing the right way of protecting your home from pests while you travel is the only thing that will keep your mind calm and without concerns.

When it comes to it, every tiny crack, every little detail, and every dirty corner can mean the difference between infestation and a clean household.

How to protect your home from pests while you are traveling

Just look at it this way: to survive, pests, like other beings, need food and convenient surroundings. If you don’t provide any condition suitable for them to survive, they will most likely stay away. That’s why it’s necessary to keep your living space clean, sorted, and pest-proof, so they can’t even accidentally wander inside. Of course, there are chemical solutions and pesticides to help you deal with pests. But, it’s better to prevent it with a few DIY bits of advice. Once you understand what attracts them and how they enter, you can start making changes so you can go on your travel without any surprises upon return.

Because it’s crucial to protect your home while on holiday from all unwelcoming guests, whether they are thieves or annoying pests, here are a few suggestions about what to do:

  • Keep your household de-cluttered
  • Clean everything before traveling
  • Clean your yard as well
  • Cover your chimneys and other openings
  • Check your walls, foundation, and crawl spaces
  • Seal the doors and windows

Keep your household de-cluttered

A messy and cluttered home will likely provide plenty of spots for pests to hide and reproduce. Piles of clothes, constantly dark corners, old newspapers, boxes, and dirty, humid places are like an invitation to all kinds of pests. Especially for bugs, and especially if there are traces of food in proximity. To keep the bugs and other pests away, keep the clutter to a minimum. Sort out your possessions, furniture, and storage, and get rid of the items you don’t need. If you are still having trouble with space, additional storage can be the best place for your possessions. Find clean and maintained storage units and place all your seasonal belongings there. Also, pay close attention to your pantry and check how your supplies are stored.

 

A raccoon hiding in a pile of newspapers.
Sort out the clutter, or you might get some unusual guests at your home.

Clean everything before traveling

If you keep everything clean and sanitized, pests will find little to no interest in your home. They like the dust, humidity, darkness, and warmth. And they will find food scraps and spills no matter where they are. This is what makes kitchens, bathrooms, attics, and basements their favorite playgrounds. You will need to thoroughly clean your entire home before leaving. Don’t leave the traces of food anywhere; keep open and uncanned food in the fridge, and dust, vacuum, and swipe the whole place. After everything is clean, find a decent mixture of essential oils like the eucalyptus-clove-lavender combination and spray it on suspicious areas. It will repel stink bugs, dust mites, ladybugs, and similar insects.

Don’t forget to pay attention to garbage. Not only will you need to throw it away, but your cans and bins have to be appropriately lidded and cleaned as well. Even the outdoor containers require proper maintenance from time to time to prevent pests.

Clean your yard as well

Yards or backyards can be fertile ground for all kinds of pests, especially if they are neglected or if you have a garden there. There are plants, water, debris, and dirt that can serve them quite well. So, if you have a yard, you will have to give it a moment of your attention before you leave for a while. Maw the lawn, trim the plants, clean the debris, drain, and level all the places that accumulate water. If you have fountains or a pool, you will have to deal with them as well. Cover your pool correctly so insects and rodents can’t access the water. Dry your fountain out because it’s the favorite place for mosquitos and other bugs to lay their eggs.

If you have a garden, if possible, get some wire plant coverings so rodents won’t ravage through your growing plants in your absence. And check if there are any wasp nests in trees and unreachable areas.

 

An illustration of backyard plant trimming, as a way of protecting your home from pests.
Regularly trim the plants in your backyard.

Cover your chimneys and other openings

Before you start your traveling journey, check if there are significantly large openings in your home. Chimneys on houses, top and under-roof openings, air vents, or anything that provides enough space for pests to pass through. Some of the most common solutions that can help you secure these openings are:

  • fine wire mesh
  • chimney caps
  • screeners
  • different types of caulking
  • copper
  • roof spikes
  • and many more

Also, be careful when securing the space under your roofs. It can be dangerous because wasps, birds, and even bats like to hide there. They may surprise you at the wrong moment, and you may fall.

Check your walls, foundation, and crawl spaces

Considering the size of some insects, they can easily slip into your home through the tiniest cracks. That’s why it’s a good practice to check your walls and foundations for any traces of damages. If you want to avoid problems with pests, you will have to repair walls, close the cracks, and replace broken bricks and tiles, if possible. Also, pay special attention to the wooden structures. Termites, rot, and all kind of insects can often be seen wherever wood is. If there are any wet areas, leaking pipes, or subsidences, you will need to fix those as well to prevent any potential infestation. Finally, check your crawl spaces and basements for signs of rodents, bugs, and even mold. If you want to avoid possible disasters, you will have to sanitize those areas as well before leaving for vacation.

Seal the doors and windows

Finally, you will have to seal all your doors and windows to prevent pests from entering your home. Closely examine the frame on each door and window for gaps. You can plug those gaps with silicone caulking or door-sealing kits. As for the windows, you can take the opportunity to install screens. And, add weatherstrippings or door sweeps under your doors. Generally speaking, sealing will not only save you from pests, but it will also make your home more energy-efficient.

 

A set of used caulking materials and tools.
Silicone caulking is an excellent solution to seal the gaps in your windows’ frames.

In the end, protecting your home from pests while you travel will serve you in the future as well. Given the solutions above, you will have no trouble with unwelcoming guests, and it will be much easier to maintain your home. Most of all, now you know what to pay attention to regarding pests and include these insights into your regular apartment or house maintenance.