As spring arrives– with summer not far behind – so do the pests and critters that have been dormant all winter.
Read below for tips on how to control pests this spring and summer.
• Look for damp conditions and dry them by increasing ventilation. Remove and replace any decayed wood to help keep carpenter ants at bay. Look particularly closely at your basements/cellars, crawl spaces and under any porches that are filled with dirt.
• Consider adding crushed rocks around your shrub and flower beds rather than mulch. Mulch can be a habitat for centipedes, millipedes, sow bugs, and other insects.
• Keep soil far from your home’s wood and siding. This can help keep pests out. If you have a deck or porch, use pressure treated wood or other materials that resist insects.
• Clean out your roof lines and gutters regularly. This can help reduce wood rot which shrinks breeding areas for such wood-ravaging pests as termites, bees, carpenters, and beetles.
• In addition, cleaning your gutters helps keep bees and hornets from building nests there: gutters can give them closer access to your home’s interior.
• Take a look at your plumbing, telephone and electrical line entrances and seal openings to lessen the chance of ants, wasps, bees, and other flying pests (such as bats) from entering your home.
• Clear your home’s foundation of plant coverage. You’ll be able to see small openings at your home’s base into which such as mice, rates, voles and other small rodents can enter your home. Keeping plants away from your home’s foundations also helps keep decayed organic matter from providing food and shelter for insects and small mammals.
Flying pests such as bees, hornets, mosquitoes, crickets, and outdoor cockroaches are more active in the summer due to the increased heat and humidity. An extended period of drought can mean the food supply of pests such as rodents, scorpions, ants, and spiders may decline, making your home’s interior – and its food – more attractive.
To help prevent pests’ growth or entrance to your home, perform the following:
• Remove trash and unneeded plants and other vegetation from around and near your home.
• Place – or repair – windows with screen mesh that is at least 18×18 strands per square inch.
• Make sure standing water (such as in bird baths) is replaced at least once a week. After rain, if buckets are filled with standing water or if puddles form for a few days, empty them.
• Keep your doors and windows shut as much as you can.
• Keep food in sealed and air-tight containers and clean your kitchen counter regularly.
• Never let pet food stay outdoors overnight: raccoons may come calling.
• Make sure that your attic/crawl space has good ventilation, thus making the area unattractive to cockroaches and other insects (good ventilation also helps keep your heating and cooling systems efficient).