Healthy Trash Disposal
Household pests thrive when garbage is not handled in a safe, sanitary way. Follow these five simple principles for healthy trash disposal in your home.
- Use covered trash cans, especially for receptacles where food scraps are stored. Consider using a covered can in your kitchen to prevent insects and pests from being attracted to food waste in the garbage. Avoid throwing food scraps away in other receptacles.
- Don’t leave food or dirty dishes sitting out. Immediately put away food when you have finished cooking and eating. Scrape and rinse any dishes used if you are unable to wash them immediately.
- Plastic food baggies can be saved and reused to prevent garbage can odors. Before throwing away pungent scraps, such as onions, place them into a baggie and seal.
- Rinse out recyclables thoroughly. If you collect recyclables, be sure to rinse them well before placing them into your recycling bin (even if they are kept outside). Insects are especially attracted to sugary drink bottles and cans.
- Rinse out your garbage and recycling cans on occasion. Wipe down indoor garbage cans from time to time, and wipe up spills and drips right away. You may also want to rinse out your outdoor garbage and recycling bins on occasion.
- Take out your trash and recyclables regularly, and know your local collection day. Don’t let your household waste pile up! Be sure to take your household trash out every few days, and be careful to not miss your weekly waste collection day.
What Can I Do About Pests?
Pests can cause many issues in your home: they can cause or worsen asthma or allergies, they can destroy furniture or clothing, they can contaminate food, and they can start fires by chewing through wiring. It is always better to prevent a pest problem than to treat one.
These are some tips for pest prevention:
- When you move, use new cardboard boxes or clean tote bins to transport your belongings.
- Keep food out of reach in airtight containers.
- Keep up with dirty dishes - wash them ASAP.
- Take the garbage out every day.
- Ask your landlord to repair leaky faucets or pipes.
What do I do if there are pests in my home?
- Figure out where the pests are living by using pest traps.
- Follow up by applying an appropriate pesticide near the pests' hideout.
- Be sure to avoid placing pesticides near children, pets, toys, kitchenware, and food.
- You may need to leave your home for a while after applying the pesticide.
- Plug any holes in walls, windows, and around pipes. You can use insulation foams, caulking gel, or rope caulk.
- Use prevention guidelines to prevent future issues.
CAUTION! Insect foggers, also known as “bug bombs,” are commonly used by residents wishing to perform their own pest control. However, it is important to realize that these materials are highly flammable. To help minimize the risk of fire or explosion, keep foggers away from potential ignition sources, such as an open flame, a pilot light, or electrical appliances that cycle on and off (e.g. a refrigerator or air conditioning unit).
What bug is this? The National Pest Management Association maintains a comprehensive Rodent, Insect, and Bug Identification Guide that may be helpful in diagnosing potential household pest issues.