It shouldn’t shock anyone that- YEP!- there are bugs in Belize. Plenty of them. It’s the tropics, okay? But don’t get scared. Get prepared. You can mitigate the threat of creepy crawlies entering your sanctuary. Let me share these tips and tricks that I’ve learned with you.
Keep it Clean
A bit obvious but the number one tip for pest-free homes is keep a clean house and tidy yard. Don’t give bugs (and spiders, scorpions, snakes, ect) a place to hide and thrive. Minimize clutter and be fanatical about cleanliness, especially kitchen cleanliness. If you leave a crumb on the counter, BAM, ants will find it. Keep trees and shrubs trimmed so branches aren’t touching your house; that could provide easy access for pests to get on and in to your home. As anywhere in the world, don’t leave any standing water in your yard- you will quickly breed mosquitoes. If you live in a coastal area you’ll want to rake your sand a minimum of once a week. Turning the sand exposes sand fly eggs and they die before hatching.
Pick your Products
This might take some trial and error on your part to find the products that work in your house, in your location in Belize. I personally couldn’t live without Terro Liquid Ant Baits in my kitchen in Placencia. I’ve never know ants like this! Locally referred to as “sugar ants,” these teeny tiny little ants are virtually impossible to get rid of. You must store all your food in air tight containers or the fridge and you must try to clean up every single crumb after a meal, but you will still likely have these little buggers in your kitchen on occasion. The other product my house is never without is Citrus Power multi-purpose cleaner. I’ll write a future post about this Belize-made, eco-friendly product (and all the ways I use it) but the gist of it is- the natural citrus cleaner smells wonderful to me but roaches and spiders and scorpions hate the scent. It doesn’t kill pests but it may help to repel them so I use this cleaner constantly.
Enlist the Professionals
Pest Control is a job for the professionals. Use them! Whether it’s a big issue like termites or bee hive removal, or regular maintenance for roaches or wood lice, get in contact with a professional Pest Control company in your area. Worth every penny, in my opinion, for peace of mind and fast, safe results. We use Qespro Environmental Pest Management Services to treat our property quarterly. These guys are Belize City based but come to the peninsula frequently as they have legions of clients here- resorts, restaurants, businesses and private homes. They spray our entire house; every rental unit, the laundry room, and even our shed the houses the pool pump and auxiliary water tank. The solution they use is imported from the US so it is of North American safety standards and it is completely safe for both humans and pets. They also spray our yard and I’ve enjoyed a noticeable decrease in sandflies and mosquitoes. We haven’t seen a scorpion in our yard in years! Because we’re operating a guesthouse, we use Qespro every 3 months but a regular residence might only need them once or twice a year.
Okay this sounds weird but it works! Tinsel. Yes, Christmas tinsel. If you have bats in your eaves you can easily dissuade them from returning by hanging a bit of tinsel from the ceiling. Tinsel totally messes with their echolocation and they’ll steer clear from it. My friend had a family of bats take up residence in the eaves of her porch, and while bats aren’t dangerous (they’re actually great for eating boat loads of mosquitoes), you don’t particularly want them sleeping in your eaves and pooping down your walls every day. Someone told us you can simply hang some tinsel to get rid of the bats without harming them so we tried it and it 100% works! They left immediately and never returned as long as the tinsel was there- easy and cruelty free! You don’t need much either. A few inches will suffice.
Do you have any other tips and tricks for pest control in Belize? Let us know in the comments!