The most important aspect of any pest-free home is a clean and well-maintained environment, both inside and out. As the weather warms, bugs begin to swarm – making spring the perfect time to clean up the areas of your home which are most susceptible to pests. Follow this spring cleaning list to help prevent possible bug infestations:
- □ Go through cabinets to check for open/expired food. An open box of goodies will entice hungry pests like ants, Indian meal moths, stored product beetles, and roaches. Store dry food like baking flours, cereals, and pastas in airtight containers.
- □ Eliminate clutter. Clutter means more hiding spaces for pests. And certain pests, like silverfish, even eat cardboard and paper products. Use plastic totes for storage and immediately remove junk mail and cardboard boxes from the home.
- □ Make simple repairs. Address torn screen gaps, cracks near windows, missing door sweeps, or broken windows in attics to keep unwanted pests from sneaking in.
- □ Address forgotten spaces. Untouched spaces, like the corners of garages and storage sheds, make perfect winter homes for pests. Cleaning those spaces up in the spring will encourage unwanted guests to vacate the premises.
- □ Check your crawlspace. Certain wood eaters and insects love moisture, so it’s important to check your crawl spaces to make sure there isn’t excessive moisture attracting pests. If you’d rather not venture into the dark, hire a professional to check these spaces for you.
- □ Eliminate standing water. The minute temperatures start to warm up, any standing water becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Keep bird bath, fountain, and pool water circulating to keep pests from laying eggs. Walk through your backyard and remove water from furniture, kid toys and pet accessories, and sweep away puddles on your porch or deck.
- □ Clean your gutters. Clogged gutters mean more standing water and more potential for mosquito production. Point gutter spouts away from your home to prevent sources of pest development and water damage. Professional gutter protection services can make this worry-free.
- □ Consider power washing the external walls of your home. This removes the build-up of pest-inviting dirt and mildew. Rather than rent or buy a power washer for personal use, consider hiring a professional.
- □ Skip the mulch when possible. Pests love mulch and pine straw because they create a warm, moist, and comfy environment. If you or your landscaper places mulch too close to the perimeter of your home, the risk of an infestation greatly increases. Try gravel or rubber mulch instead.
- □ Keep bushes and plants a safe distance away from your home – we recommend two feet. Trim vegetation and clean up after fruit trees. Many ants and insects love to eat the natural sugars in fruit, so don’t allow bushes or trees to come in contact with the exterior of your home.
- □ Be in the know. Stay well-informed about the potential for specific types of pests in your area.
- □ Lastly, clean regularly. This is one of the best ways to identify and eliminate pest problems. Eliminating dust and dirt while examining the smaller areas in your home are effective tactics for spotting a pest issue before it becomes a larger problem.
Spring cleaning and home maintenance may not be the most enjoyable project you have on your “to-do” list, but it reduces clutter from your home and allows you to enjoy the warm weather that is quickly approaching.
By taking these steps, you can discover a potential pest problem before it becomes worse… or more expensive than it needs to be.