San Francisco Department of the Environment

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Pest Prevention

Pest prevention is the secret to safe and effective pest management. Pesticides can harm humans, pets, and the environment, and should be considered only as a last resort.

Food / Water / Shelter / Access


Food

  • Put away food to avoid attracting pests.
  • Seal food using hard plastic, glass, or metal containers. Many pests can chew through materials like paper, cardboard, and thin plastic.
  • Routinely clean up all crumbs and spills.
  • Rinse all food and beverage containers before recycling.
  • Rinse garbage and recycling bins frequently.
  • Clean up plant debris, such as fallen fruit under fruit trees.

Water

  • Fix leaky pipes.
  • Clean out drains and rain gutters.
  • Drain or treat puddles.
  • Turn off all garden hoses completely when not in use.

Shelter

  • Clean up clutter.
  • Remove cardboard boxes, crates, used tires, piles of wood, and overgrown plant material.
  • Seal all cracks and crevices where pests can hide.

Access

  • Screen all vents and entryways into buildings to keep pests outside.
  • Seal out pests by caulking and installing door sweeps or other barriers. 

Our home. Our city. Our planet.