Everyday Pest Prevention TipsMissy Henriksen
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
conditions across the country finally begin to resemble what we
would expect from spring, pests will also begin to emerge from
their overwintering sites in search of food and water – two things
easily found in homes. In an effort to avoid unwanted infestations
during the warmer seasons, experts from the National
Pest Management Association encourage homeowners to incorporate
pest-proofing as part of their spring cleaning and yard clean up
routines in the coming weeks.
Homeowners can keep common household pests like ants, termites, ticks,
invaders from taking refuge in and around the home by adding a
few simple tasks to their home maintenance checklist:
- Take time to inspect the outside of the home for easy access
points, paying special attention to areas where utility pipes
enter. Seal any small cracks and crevices with a silicone-based
caulk. Use steel wool to fill larger gaps and holes, as pests are
often deterred away from the roughness of the steel fibers.
- Keep an eye out for signs of termite damage, such as mud tubes,
soft wood that sounds hollow when tapped, and cracked or bubbling
- Properly landscape by keeping the grass cut low and ensuring
tree branches, shrubbery and other vegetation is well trimmed and
away from the house.
- Clean out leaves and other debris from the gutters to prevent
standing water, which can provide the perfect breeding ground for
- Repair fascia and rotted roof shingles; some insects are drawn
to deteriorating wood.
- Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around
basement foundation and windows.
- Screen windows, attic vents and openings to chimneys. Repair
any rips or tears.
- Direct water away from the house through properly functioning
downspouts, gutters and splash blocks. Repair leaking faucets,
water pipes and AC units.
- Store fire wood at least 20 feet away from the house.
- Keep mulch at least 15 feet away from the foundation.
- Dispose of garbage regularly in a sealed trash bin.
- Keep kitchens clean by wiping down counter tops and sweeping
floors to remove crumbs and residue from spills. Also, store food
in sealed containers, and keep ripe fruit in the refrigerator.
- Vacuum at least once a week.
- Keep pet bowls clean and wipe up any spilled food or water
around them promptly. Store dry pet food in a sealed plastic
container rather than the paper bags they often come in.
- Consult your vet about a preventative treatment for dogs and
cats to help ward off fleas and ticks.
- Routinely check under sinks for areas of moisture and repair
any leaky pipes. Consider using a dehumidifier in damp basements,
crawl spaces or attics.
Eliminating pests once they have found comfort within the
confines of a home can be challenge, and once inside, some pests
can cause serious property damage while others can pose health
threats. If an infestation is found, homeowners should consult with
professional pest management company to evaluate the extent of
the problem and recommend the best course of treatment.