Around the House: Tame Trash, Master Mess, and Prevent Pests

Around the House: Tame Trash, Master Mess, and Prevent Pests

By Yehudit Garmaise

By taking on just a few simple practices, we can prevent our homes’ trash from transforming into out-of-control messes that spill out onto the streets.

Before heading outside with full trash bags, residents can prevent spills and leakages that attract cats, rats, and bees, by washing and rinsing out food containers before tossing uneaten leftovers into the trash.

New Yorkers can prevent liquids from sitting out on the street unnecessarily by pouring it down the kitchen sink.

“Garbage is typically gross, and leaks or spillage of sugary soft drinks and other substances can instantly attract a plethora of pests,” advises

Garbage disposals, if available, can grind up leftovers to help residents to slash their trash outputs.

As of last Thursday, New York City residents now are required to separate out their scraps of food and yard trimmings, which must now go into heavy black bags to be composted, instead of getting sent to landfills to molder and create toxic waste.

"While tying up bags and using only cans with lids can help to keep trash contained and pests away, residents can do their part to keep the neighborhood and their property clean, tidy, and smelling good: by regularly spraying out their garbage cans, recycling bins, and compost containers with water hoses or buckets of warm water and detergent," Mrs. Rivky Kopciel told BoroPark24.  

"Spraying an ammonia solution, which has a pungent smell that can be harmful to children and adults, onto trash outside or onto the inside of your outside garbage cans is a serious way to deter critters and pests from tampering with your trash," says

Making sure to use trash cans with lids has “greatly helped to diminish” the rat population of Prospect Heights, Fox reported.

Other openings, such as cracks and holes in garbage bins, can also provide entryways for animals and insects. Use an epoxy or fiberglass reinforcement tape that is found at local hardware stores to repair any openings or request new cans from DSNY.

Put trash out as close as possible to pick-up times, which are now: 6pm for garbage cans with lids and 8pm for closed bags, to shrink the time that critters have to find their way to uneaten food.

When kids play outside and nosh, their wrappers can all go right into a garbage bag that parents attach to a central porch railing and put into their garbage cans before heading inside for the night, suggested Mrs. Kopciel.

While supers who live in many buildings take responsibility for piling garbage bags up “like a wall” to make them easier for Department of Sanitation (DSNY) workers to pick up the trash, residents should make sure that all bags are tightly sealed and set out in an orderly way.

Keep trash as far away from your home as possible: to minimize the chances that vermin will, G-d-forbid, infest homes’ interiors.

To prevent living with others who are not careful to keep their buildings sanitary before signing a new lease, Mrs. Kopciel said that one good question prospective tenants can ask current residents about their experiences with trash.

I would ask, “Have you been enjoying an overall clean and quiet place?” said the Boro Park resident of 13 years.

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