When your house sitting, often you don’t know if the homeowner has a pest free home, both indoors in out. While it’s your job to protect their home and valuables, sometimes even watch out for their pets, what if wildlife or other pests are a problem? Depending on the location, even some suburban areas can back up to places where some types of wildlife are present.
3 Ways To Keep Wildlife & Pests At Bay While House sitting
Here are a few tips on how you can keep critters away from you and the home you are watching while you’re house sitting.
1 - Mice and Rats
While traps and cages are certainly an option, you shouldn’t be responsible for these types of expenses and activities as part of your job description. Another way to keep them away is music, not in the sense that it soothes the savage beast but instead, annoys little critters. Rodents are primarily nocturnal creatures and if you’re playing music during the day, they’re less likely to nest in or near your surroundings.
2 - Mosquitos
With the Zika virus hitting headlines all around the country and the world, we’re becoming more cautious about these flying pests.
While burning citronella candles and using insect repellent is a good option when outdoors, there’s also staying indoors to protect yourself from being bitten. Get rid of any standing water in puddles, buckets or barrels in close vicinity to the house. This will limit the places where mosquitoes begin their lives as larvae. If the yard has a bird bath, make sure to clean it out every few days as well.
While inside the house, make sure you take precautions to mosquitoes from entering the house:
- Close fireplace dampers unless you’re actually using this feature
- Before opening windows, make sure screens fit tightly and are in good repair
Use garlic (a few crushed cloves boiled in water) as a topical repellent and sprayed in the air to annoy and repel these flying pests. If you’re looking for a sweeter scent, try lavender, eucalyptus or lemon oil and use it in the same way.
3 - Racoons & Other Outdoor Creatures
Sometimes yard duty comes along with the responsibility of taking care of a home, and even if you’re not tasked with taking care of the yard, there are some simple ways you can keep critters away from the property:
- Keep garbage can lids tightly shut and inside a garage or outbuilding if possible
- Speaking of outbuildings, keep their doors shut at all times
- Keep areas around fruit bearing trees clean of food that has fallen
- Look for loose boards or faulty hinges in fences and do a quick repair
- If there are bird feeders present, keep the areas underneath them clean
- Don’t leave any type of food outdoors, even pet food, for an extended period of time
Taking care of someone else’s property shouldn’t put you at risk, whether it’s a mosquito bite or encounter with some form of wildlife. With a little bit of preparation and planning, without spending a great deal on prevention, you can feel safer while you’re at someone else’s house.
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