Hawaii is home to over 192 species of insects, spiders, and bugs. While a large majority of these creepy crawlies prefer to nest, burrow, scurry, and buzz outdoors, a few of these species do come inside from time to time hoping for a fast bite or a dry place to sleep.
Although Hawaii houses a few multi-legged monstrosities, you and your family don’t have to house them as well.
As you pack and prep for your upcoming move, take the following precautions against pests. With a little extra effort, you can ensure that local cockroaches, bed bugs, moths, and beetles don’t hitch a ride with you to your new home.
1. Use Clean Moving Boxes
When you have a tight budget, you may try to save on moving expenses wherever you can. If your friends, family, or neighbors have any cardboard boxes from their most recent move, you might feel tempted to ask for free leftovers. Or if your loved ones don’t have any, you might ask local businesses and warehouses for their shipping boxes.
But exercise caution when packing with used boxes. You never know what sat in the cardboard before you used it for your dishes and silverware, and you can’t be certain where the boxes have traveled before they arrived at your home.
To err on the safe side, purchase new moving boxes from your professional moving team or from your local store. If you can’t afford new boxes, only accept boxes from trustworthy sources that have no history of pests. Consider treating used boxes with bug spray or applying a few drops of essential oils (such as lavender oil, eucalyptus, or peppermint) to deter bugs.
2. Launder Clothes and Fabrics
Carpet beetles, clothes moths, cockroaches, and silverfish all eat organic fibers whenever they have the opportunity. If you have cotton, silk, or wool fabric in your home, you may already have these pests nibbling happily away in your closet.
Before you pack and store clothing, thoroughly wash each piece on the highest heat setting that’s still safe for the material, or take the clothing to a dry cleaner. Even if the clothing seemed clean to begin with, you want to destroy any eggs that may be lingering in the fibers.
Once you’ve laundered your clothing, pack a few wooden cedar blocks, chips, or balls alongside your fabrics to keep moths and similar insects away. Avoid using mothballs, as the fumes may cause dizziness and difficulty breathing, and the chemicals may damage the fabric.
3. Inspect and Dust Book Bindings
Even if you are an avid reader, many of the books on your shelf probably don’t see a lot of action. You might read a few of your favorites once or twice a year, but you likely read the rest of your books once or twice in your lifetime.
As your books gather dust, a few bugs may see your collection as an all-you-can-eat buffet. Booklice, carpet beetles, cockroaches, silverfish, and termites will gladly nibble on the pages, cloth covers, and glue that holds a book’s binding together.
Before you box your books, inspect your collection for signs of insect damage. Sandy-colored dust, small brown pellets, stains, and holes are all telltale signs of infestation. If you notice damage, put your books into zippered plastic bags and pop them in the freezer for a few days to kill any lingering insects.
Enjoy a Pest-Free Move
These tips and tricks will keep bugs at bay during your move. However, keep in mind that you should talk to your moving team if you want to use additional pest control methods. Pesticides, sprays, and other chemicals may linger in the moving truck after you unload, and those products may pose health risks to your moving team as well as future clients who rely on their services.