Ants, mice, and other insects and rodents might seem like a minor nuisance, but as Joe Lstiburek notes in the recent Building Science Corporation article Pests Can Really Bug You, they can have a harmful effect on humans, food, and living conditions. Writes Lstiburek:

Water, food, dust and clutter provide the conditions for insects, termites, ants, cockroaches, mice, rats and dust mites to inhabit buildings. Pests inside homes can lead to allergic reactions. Pests often lead to the use of pesticides that are not good for people to breathe or ingest (eat). Pests can damage or destroy building materials. Water and food are an invitation for pests. Designing homes to be dry controls pests. Keeping homes dry and clean controls pests. Disconnecting buildings from the surrounding soil and ground controls pests.

In the article, Lstiburek presents several comprehensive pest management strategies, which all start with one basic rule: Control water so that it runs away from a building. Read more.