We all know that the advantages of living in a tiny house are numerous. It’s a way of life that should be much more widely-known and widely practiced because there are so many people whose lives could be massively improved by giving it a try.
It’s cost-effective, it’s environmentally friendly, it’s energy efficient, and it’s just a generally less stressful way to live because of how minimalist it is. I could sit here and write about the benefits for an hour because the list just goes on and on.
But when it comes to pests, living in a tiny home isn’t a whole lot different from living anywhere else. You are just as likely to deal with a wide variety of different kinds of pests and you might need a different approach to dealing with them than others would.
One of the biggest things that attracts people to tiny homes is the fact that they are portable. You can pretty much live wherever you want and even go off the grid if that’s your preference. And while that’s fun and exciting, it does mean that you are exposing yourself to more pests than those whose homes are stationary.
And most tiny homes tend to be built from wood because it’s so eco-friendly and inexpensive, and this means that they are much more susceptible to termites. A termite infestation could be disastrous for your tiny home.
It’s not quite so easy to get rid of pests by way of chemical solutions in a tiny home because you have such little space. You need to be able to live in it afterwards and such a small area doesn’t leave much room for traditional bug bomb solutions to disperse.
Let’s look at some of the pests you might find yourself up against and what you can do to get rid of them:
As mentioned, termites are a huge problem for tiny houses because so many of them are made out of wood. There are 2,000 different kinds of termites out there and they are very common all across America.
It’s common for people to end up with termite infestations in their home and not realize that there is a problem until it’s too late. They will find their way into the wood and start eating away at it from the inside, invisible to you until things start to crack and fall apart.
If you do live in a tiny wooden home, I think it would be a good idea to take preventative measures from a very early stage so as to reduce the likelihood of this happening. One thing is to keep on top of water damage.
Termites tend to be attracted to wood that has been weakened by moisture and so you should regularly check your pipes and drainage system to make sure that nothing is leaking, and hire a plumber if you do find any issues.
If you have an external source of wood for fires or for repairs, try to keep it at a distance from the house itself. Not exactly the most convenient thing in the world, but if the woodpile gets infested and it’s right by the house then the infestation will spread.
So keep it several yards from the house and cover it with a tarp to make sure that it’s protected from moisture. If you do end up catching a termite infestation, then I would suggest either using termiticides or termite baits to get rid of them. These are slower than the direct chemical solutions but will be safer for use in a tiny home.
Ants are another common problem, but thankfully they are nowhere near as destructive as termites. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get rid of them as quickly as possible though. The biggest problem with ants is that there is never just a small number of them.
If you see one ant, the chances are that there is a massive colony not too far away. So for those living in tiny houses, an ant infestation means that your entire home could be quickly overrun by these little guys.
Ants can damage wood and other structural aspects of your home in similar fashion to termites, but the biggest issue you’re likely to face with them has more to do with food. They will find their way into your cupboards and go to town on your food supply.
These creatures don’t typically carry diseases, but I think we can all agree that we’d rather not have them near our food. And when it comes to getting rid of them, food is something that you need to keep an eye on.
You need to keep your floors and surfaces clean. Vacuum and dust every single day to ensure there are no crumbs. Ants will be attracted to easily accessible food so if you don’t clean up then you’re basically inviting them in.
They will leave an invisible trail for other ants to also find their way to a food source, and you can deal with this by using a mixture of vinegar and water. Mop your floors with this mixture if you notice ants around and they’ll be deterred.
And then, of course, you should do a thorough search of the walls and floors to try and find out where the ants are getting in. Seal up any openings you find with something like diatomaceous earth.
Another extremely common pest and one that the mere mention of will cause people’s skin to crawl. Much like ants, roaches are attracted to food sources and that will be their target if they get inside.
The big difference is that roaches carry a number of diseases, including things like dysentery, salmonella, and listeria. It’s transmitted through their saliva and their droppings so a cockroach infestation can be extremely dangerous.
You are especially at risk living in a tiny home because of your hot water heater. Cockroaches are attracted to heat and humidity because it’s a source of shelter and so that makes in and around the water heater an ideal spot for them.
In most houses, the water heater is in the garage or the basement, generally away from where the house is at its most active, but tiny homes tend not to have basements or garages and as such, the heater needs to be somewhere else.
This can result in cockroaches being more present where your and your family are. If you want to try and get rid of them naturally, which will be the preferred option for a tiny home, then you can use baking soda, borax, or boric acid.
Try each of them and see which one is most effective. Your best bet is to mix them with water and spread them anywhere you notice roach activity.
If an infestation of any of these pests gets too severe, you will likely have to look for an exterminator and that’s not ideal in a tiny home. So you really need to make looking out for pests a priority.
Take the necessary preventative measures and regularly look out for signs of an infestation. Even if you don’t manage to keep the pests away initially, you can catch the infestation early and deal with it before it gets out of control.