Aging In Place

4/5/2016 | By Seniors Guide Staff

As your family members age into their 60s and 70s, they will require extra help. Their health can be affected by the upkeep and quality of their environment. Pests can carry disease and degrade the health standards of your loved one’s living space. Make sure you provide the support they need for a clean and pest-free environment. Here are the measures you should take to ensure creepy crawlies won’t inhabit the home of your senior family members:

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are the sneakiest pests in the book. They’re virtually invisible and may only be noticed after they’ve infested a space. You can recognize a bed bug infestation by the marks they leave — little bites on the body and consequential blood stains on the bed. The stains will be small and difficult to detect, but they can be seen by the naked eye when the sheets are carefully examined. Your senior family members will experience itching from the bites, which is another giveaway of the bed bugs’ pest presence. Quarantine all items in the infested room that are made of fabric or linen. Expose all affected items to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, either through the washer and dryer or in sun-exposed trash bags for 48 to 72 hours. Enlist a professional pest control firm so they can sterilize the mattress and inspect all other areas for bed bugs.


Termites cause major damage to the wooden infrastructure of your elderly family member’s home. Keep an eye out during the warmer months for swarms of termites. The swarmers emerge in daylight, most often after rain, near tree stumps and railroad ties. There are many types of termites, which include the dampwood, drywood, formosan, subterranean, conehead and desert termites.

You can prevent termite infestations by reducing any moisture issues around the house and removing any potential termite food sources. For example, keep the firewood away from the foundation of the house, dispose of wood stumps or debris, place screens on the outside of the vents and make sure the wood of the home isn’t in contact with the soil.


Rats and mice may look furry and cute, but they are major threats to the health of your senior family member. These rodents can transmit many serious diseases or introduce disease-ridden parasites into your home. In their search for food, they also contaminate many areas of the home and other food that looks untouched. You will notice a rodent infestation by their droppings and any chew marks on food or household items. Prevention methods for rodents include secure storage of food. Put dry food items into glass or plastic containers, as cardboard can be chewed up and used for nests. You can get rid of rodents with traps, poison or professional help.

Fruit Flies

Fruit flies have a phenomenally fast reproduction rate, which can amplify the severity of the infestation within only a few days. Fruit flies are most common in the warm summer months. They are drawn to ripened fruit and vegetables, standing water, liquid spills and decaying garbage — all of which they use as food sources and homes for their larvae. If there is a fruit fly infestation, eliminate the sources that attract them. Dispose of all rotten fruit, take out the trash, place fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator and remove any infested houseplants from the house. You should pour bleach down the drains and set out fruit fly traps that will reduce the numbers and eventually lead to complete elimination.

Seniors Guide Staff

Seniors Guide has been addressing traditional topics and upcoming trends in the senior living industry since 1999. We strive to educate seniors and their loved ones in an approachable manner, and aim to provide them with the right information to make the best decisions possible.

Seniors Guide Staff