The One Resolution Homeowners Should Make

Homeowners: If You Make One New Year’s Resolution, Make it This One

It’s the time of year again to start making our New Year’s resolutions a reality. According to a 2015 Nielson study, last year’s top resolutions included getting back into a workout routine, saving money and getting home’s organized. As you think about the changes you want to make in 2017 and the aspirations you have for maintaining your home, consider adding pest-proofing to the top of the list. January is when we set out with the best intentions of keeping our resolutions, but many end up falling by the wayside. Well, pest-proofing shouldn’t be one of them! While it might not be the first thing that comes to mind, it can save you a lot of frustration and money over the course of the year if done properly.

While pest issues often vary by season — with mice and spiders being prevalent in the winter months, and mosquitoes, ants and ticks being more common once the weather gets warmer — there are certain steps that homeowners can take long after the ball drops to ensure a pest-free New Year.

Here are five tips from the National Pest Management Association to help homeowners pest-proof their home and avoid unwanted damage or infestations in the months ahead.

  1. Store holiday decorations properly.

    Taking down holiday decorations can be a chore, but don’t skimp on packing them with care. Opt for durable plastic containers with tight sealing lids to keep pests from infesting festive décor while in storage.

  2. Keep the kitchen clean.

    Food is one of the main reasons pests are attracted to homes. Tidy up the kitchen after each and every meal, dispose of garbage regularly, store food in airtight containers and don’t forget about those food items that are hibernating in the back of the pantry.

  3. Seal any gaps.

    Install door sweeps on exterior doors — they attach to the bottom of exterior doors to minimize the airflow from outside – and seal the gap between the floor and the door. This practice will eliminate space for insects and rodents to enter the home. It’s also important to seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter.

  4. Store firewood in the right place.

    Woodpiles are a favorite hangout for many pests. Be sure to store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and brush it off before bringing it indoors to avoid any unwanted visitors from hitching a ride indoors.

  5. Don’t forget the outdoors.

    Despite the cold temperatures, pest-proofing the exterior of a home during the winter months is crucial. Be on the lookout to remove any dead bushes, branches or old, fallen leaves from the yard. Also, consider cleaning out leaves and other debris from the gutters and fix loose shingles to prevent standing water, which could lead to ice dams.

It’s important to pest-proof your home at the start of each season to avoid visits from seasonal pests. By kick-starting the year with an overall pest-proofing sweep, you help eliminate potential damage or infestations later. For any serious pest occurrences, it’s best to contact a licensed pest control professional.

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