Keeping pests out of your home is an ongoing battle whether you live in the city or the country. Your home is an appealing source of shelter, food and water for many kinds of bugs, rodents and other wildlife. The best way to control pests is to keep them out of your home to start with. Otherwise, you'll have to eliminate an infestation, which can be difficult to do. Here are five tips that will help keep pests out of your house.

Maintain a Tidy Yard

Trimmed grass doesn't offer very many hiding places for pests. When grass or weeds get too high, rodents and bugs feel safe hiding in them and will get closer to your house. Weeds offer shade and humidity, which is what bugs like. Try to keep the area near your house free from vegetation and leaf mulch.

Leaf mulch, in particular, holds dampness. When you pick up a pile of decaying leaves, you see bugs running in all directions. Some of those bugs are probably roaches, so you don't want them getting too close to your house.

Keeping a clutter-free yard is important for mosquito control too since those biting pests need only a small amount of standing water to reproduce. Rodents also love clutter since it offers places to hide and build nests that are close to the food source inside your home.

Replace Wet Wood in Your House

If you've had a water leak in your attic or under a sink, be sure to dry out the area thoroughly and replace any damp wood if necessary. Damp areas attract a variety of bugs. Some of them need humid areas to live in while others are attracted to the water. Some bugs even like to chew on the damp wood and eat the mold that grows on it. Keep your home as dry as possible and you'll have fewer bugs.

Close Holes in Your House and Roof

Sealing up your home can be a chore since some bugs, like the tiny ant, only need a slight opening to get inside. Start by caulking and weather-stripping the windows and repairing rips in screens. Check under doors for gaps and install a sweep if necessary.

Look around plumbing pipes and vents on the side of your house. Close the gaps with caulk or spray foam. If you see a gnawed rodent hole, close it with a metal plate or steel wool because the rodent will probably come back and try to chew through the plug. Inspect your roof too as there are many places bugs and rodents can squeeze through on and under the roof.

Be Careful What You Bring Indoors

You probably pack bugs indoors all the time and don't even realize it. If you have pets, they can carry in ticks and fleas from outside. You might bring in earwigs or roaches when you bring potted plants inside. You can carry bed bugs home from a yard sale or roaches home from the grocery store. You may even discover moths inside dry food packages or pet food when you buy them. It's a good practice to check whatever you bring indoors to make sure it is free from bugs.

Get Regular Pest Control Treatments

Regular pest control treatments are an important defense against bugs. You may need treatments monthly, quarterly or on another schedule as recommended by your exterminator. The treatments kill bugs that make their way inside your house so they don't settle in and multiply.

Regular treatments also include monitoring for active infestations in your yard that might move towards your home. It doesn't matter if your home is clean and tidy or unorganized and cluttered; bugs will find a way inside eventually, so you need to be prepared for them with the help of professional pest control treatments.

If you're seeing signs of pests in your home, call A Step Above Pest Control for a thorough inspection of your property and effective treatment that gets your problem under control quickly.