June 30, 2014
After a long winter, the urge to spend more time outdoors will be strong. However, spending more time outside often starts with some spring cleanup, and it’s important to pay attention to what implications your home’s curb appeal can have for your yearly pest prevention.
Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to save time and prevent pests during your usual outdoor spring-cleaning routine.
We recently met up with Western’s Branch Manager for Cape May, Atlantic City, and Ocean County, Phil Ziolkowski, who said, “One of the most common reasons for pest issues around the home is keeping mulch and wood debris too close to the perimeter of the home. Moisture-rich mulch can attract termites, carpenter ants, and just about any pest that’s looking for a water source.”
He also provided some of these helpful tips to deter pests:
Keep Mulch Down Low: It’s important to keep the amount of mulch you have around the perimeter of your home at about 1-2 inches. Piling excessive amounts of this stuff around your home year after year can create a nesting site for a variety of insects including termites, carpenter ants, and odorous house ants.
Keep Shrubbery Properly Maintained: Keeping bushes and other shrubbery too close to the home’s perimeter and siding can create habitual pest problems. Thick vegetation and vegetation planted too close to the home creates fantastic opportunities for pests to make their way inside.
Seal Openings and Cracks: By sealing all openings, including cracks and crevices, torn screens, drain pipes, etc., you can eliminate many pest entry points. Some pests, like small rodents and mice can fit through extremely small holes, so it’s important to keep these potential entrances blocked off.
Don’t Over-Fertilize: Over-fertilizing creates problems with mold and moss, which can attract pests like clover mites. It’s important that the yard be dethatched and treated for pests.
Be Wary of Decorative Lighting: Gorgeous decorative exterior lighting that enhances your evening curb appeal may also serve as a beacon for all manner of pests. Solutions include yellow lights that are less attractive to insects, or a new approach altogether. For example, keeping pole lights away from the house will attract insects to the pole – and away from your house.