Clutter is unsightly and has been shown to lead to increased stress, but it can also invite pest problems into your home. Pests are attracted to clutter for a variety of reasons, so it's important to keep your house clean and clutter-free to fend off infestations. Here are three reasons why your clutter attracts pest problems.
Clutter hides water sources
Pests need water to survive, and if your home gives them easy access to water, they'll want to move in. That's why it's important to clean up spills quickly and to fix leaky pipes and faucets. If your home is clutter-free, it's easy to detect the puddles or stained areas that could indicate a water problem, but if your home is cluttered, a dripping pipe or other issue could go undetected.
These water issues don't just get your clutter wet and possibly ruin the items you're storing; they give pests their own private pond to drink out of. These pests may include moisture-loving pests like cockroaches or ants, which may then breed inside your home, resulting in an infestation.
Spills in and around your clutter can also let your stored items get moldy, and mold provides food to some types of insects. Bugs like booklice eat mold, and moldy paper or cardboard is easier for bugs like cockroaches to eat. Clean up your clutter so that you can get rid of water sources quickly, before the pests move in.
Clutter lets pests stay hidden
Clutter is a very common problem. One-quarter of people with two-car garages can't park their cars in the garage because of all their clutter, while one-third can only fit one car. If that sounds like you, you could have pests lurking in your garbage or other cluttered parts of your house.
When your house is clean and clutter-free, it's easier to see the signs that pests have moved in. Clues that bugs are active in your home, like the presence of feces, egg casings, shed exoskeletons, or live insects are a lot easier to detect when these clues are out in the open or in the clutter-free areas beneath your furniture. Pests can be dealt with quickly, before they take over your home.
However, in a cluttered home, you'll need to look underneath and around your clutter to find these signs, and if you're not paying attention to your clutter, you may not see the signs of pests until it's too late and you have an infestation on your hands.
Clutter provides food sources
Your clutter can also act as an easy source of food for a variety of pests. If you're storing a lot of cardboard boxes in your basement or attic, cardboard-eating pests will be attracted to your clutter. Pests that eat cardboard include cockroaches, termites, crickets and silverfish. Various types of beetles, including carpet beetles, will also eat cardboard. The objects you're storing in the boxes, like stacks of paper, can also a food source for these pests.
Worse, the pests that feed on your clutter will attract other bugs. Predators like spiders, centipedes, or scorpions may move into your home to feed on the many smaller bugs that are eating your cardboard. Since clutter lets pests stay hidden, you may not even realize how bad the problem is until you decide to clean out your garage.
It's easy to procrastinate unpleasant jobs like de-cluttering your garage or basement, but if you leave the clutter in place, it could attract a number of pest species to your home. If pests have already made your clutter their home, call a pest control company, such as Albemarle Termite & Pest Control, to help you get rid of them.