The thirty-ninth capacity that I introduce in my eBook is that you must [be able to] perform adequate pest control, especially indoors. In it I state that:
You must “perform adequate pest control, especially indoors. Bugs and rodents can become a significant problem very quickly post-disaster. You’ll want to be able to keep them in check in. Practices such as regular cleaning (even in off-grid scenarios) and spraying appropriate pesticides [should have said insecticide] will help to reduce problems associated with such pests.”
In my opinion, squeaky clean hygiene practices–and everything that goes with them–including pest control WILL be far more critical to your health in any emergency scenario, especially long term ones. You see, our modern society provides a very thin veil that hides us from those nasty rodents and insects that are so desperately trying to get into your house, food, and garbage. With everything we have going for us, from working sewer systems to lawn care, insecticides to surface cleaners, trash disposal services and more they still manage to work their way in and sometimes even wreck havoc in our homes.
Now, consider how much worse such pests could be when everything stops working properly AND everyone around you (but not You, of course) hasn’t a clue what to do with their garbage or human waste? I’ve discussed garbage disposal and human waste in previous capacity posts, so I won’t go over them again here. Just know that they are critical aspects of prepping that cannot be ignored without paying the consequences of attracting unwelcome visitors.
The question, therefore, is what can we do about these pests besides proper disposal of garbage and waste?
Keeping the house clean is a good start. I realize that the last thing you’re going to want to do is to scrub the toilets but at least won’t have to vacuum the carpets! Ok, maybe you don’t need to scrub the toilets but it would be wise to regularly clean any surface area where food has been prepared and served. Likewise, ensuring all your dishes have been cleaned ASAP will help too.
Besides general home upkeep, you need to be able to repel pests as much as possible. Think about appropriate insecticides (for both indoor and outdoor applications) at the very least. If you would prefer not to do so then a more natural solution would be to use diatomaceous earth as a natural pest barrier (it has other uses too). This is a good time to remind you that door and window weatherstripping, thresholds, and caulking should all be checked and repaired/replaced as necessary since there’s no reason to give them easy access to your home.
You should also be ready to trap and/or kill any intruders common to your geographic area; for most of us this will always include ants, cockroaches, and mice or rats. So, stockpile appropriate traps and baits to deal with them. Or, if you prefer, this 5-gallon bucket rat trap [YouTube Video] may come in handy.
Assuming that you (1) properly dispose of garbage and human waste, (2) keep your shelf-stable food from being accessible to pests, and (3) are ready and able to deal with the typical home-invading pests, then I would suspect that you’ll be better off than 99% of most people in a long term situation in regards to dealing with such pests.