Housekeeping Tips

Following some simple steps it is possible to keep your home pest free.


    • Limit where you eat. Make a rule that eating is only done in the kitchen and dining areas. The fewer areas that have been exposed to crumbs and food residue, the less risk of an invasion you'll have.
    • Clean the floor daily. Whether you choose to sweep or vacuum, clean the floor daily. Food and residue need to be removed quickly so that bugs won't be attracted to the mess. Missing a day may be just enough to attract some unwanted visitors to an unintended feast.
    • Tackle spills quickly. Just as your messy floor can become an invitation to pests, spilled areas throughout the kitchen can beckon to bugs. Be sure to move furniture and appliances to be sure all the residue of a spill has been cleaned.
    • Wash dishes. Waiting to wash isn't a great idea. Even soaking dishes can be an attraction for bugs if they are left for an extended period of time. When dishes are washed, be sure to drain any dishwater, and wipe down the sink.
    • Run dishwasher at least every two days.
    • Clear the drain. Be sure that any slow-moving drains are cleared and cleaned. Many bugs come indoors searching for water. Be sure to repair any leaky sinks and drains in your home.
    • Regularly Clean Appliances including Stove/Oven, Vent Hood, Refrigerator and  Dishwasher.
    • Clean Appliances including Stove/Oven, Vent Hood, Refrigerator and Dishwasher.
      Stove Top
      A stove top should be cleaned for your physical health.  Residents are encouraged to wipe stove top surfaces after each use, this will also help with pest control.

      Oven – should be cleaned once a month.
      1. Empty the oven and remove racks.
      2. Make baking soda paste, 3/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup warm water.
      3. Spread the paste all over the interior surfaces of the oven, avoiding heating elements.
      4. After 12 hours or overnight, use a damp dish cloth and wipe out the dried baking soda paste. Use a plastic or silicone spatula to help scrape off the paste as needed.
      5. Put a little white vinegar in a spray bottle and spray everywhere you still see baking soda residue in your oven. The vinegar will react with the baking soda and gently foam.
      6.Take a damp cloth and wipe out the remaining foamy vinegar-baking soda mixture. Repeat until all the baking soda residue is gone. Add more water or vinegar as needed while wiping to really get the oven clean and shiny.
      7. To clean oven racks let them sit in dishwashing liquid for a few hours, scrub with a scouring pad, and then rinse well and dry.
    • To clean dishwasher place a cup of white vinegar in a dishwasher-safe container on the upper rack of the machine. Run the dishwasher through a hot-water cycle. This will wash away grease and grime and remove musty odors, too. Baking soda rinse: Sprinkle one cup of baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher.
  • Wipe down bottles. After a bottle or jar has been used, be sure to wipe down the outside of the bottle and the lid. Residue on your honey, syrup, oil, and peanut butter containers can be a big attraction to bugs.
  • Store food properly. Bugs can get into all but the most tightly sealed packaging. Be sure to store items in the pantry in containers that properly seal. Consider removing many of your dry goods like sugars, flours, and bulk mixes in airtight containers. Even more frequently used items like cereal, pasta, and pet foods should be in containers that are fully resealable.
  • Watch out for fruits and vegetables. Of course, fresh fruits and vegetables are great for our nutrition, but they can be a pain in the pantry if they are anywhere near spoiling. Use or throw out fruits and vegetables that are past their prime. Those ripe fresh foods will attract ants, fruit flies, and many other pests.
  • Thoroughly clean behind and underneath washers, dryers and cabinets on a regular schedule.
  • Keep the laundry area free of lint and other debris to prevent microfungal growth that attracts pests.
  • Repair water leaks promptly.

Clothes Closets

  • Clean clothes before storing. Clothes that are dirty will attract bugs. So before storing all the winter coats or clothes that are worn less often,  into the back of your closet, take the time to have them dry cleaned or washed before being stored. Storing clothes in properly sealed containers will also go a long way towards preventing an infestation.

Garbage Bins and Areas

  • Clean out the recyclables. Be sure to rinse out plastic, glass, and metal containers that are being recycled.
  • Clean garbage containers. Washing down the insides and outsides of your trash and recycling containers is a monthly job. We find it easiest to do this chore outside with a garden hose and a long-handled scrub brush. We recommend having a separate toilet brush that works well at cleaning the hard to reach areas of the trash cans.
  • Put a lid on your trash. Lids on trash will keep bugs out, keep smells in, and keep infestations away. Choose bins and buckets with lids when shopping for garbage and recycling containers.

Outside Areas

  • Avoid standing water. Holes that fill up with water, children's toys, and even birdbaths can be breeding grounds for bugs. Fill in or remove places that might fill up with rainwater. For birdbaths, consider draining and refilling weekly to prevent pests.
  • Check your screens. Contact facility maintenance to repair or replace broken screens on windows and doors.
  • Have vehicle oil leaks fixed