With springtime upon us, many homeowners are excited to get their houses in tip-top-shape and rid their yards of harmful pests and irksome critters. Amongst other household chores, pest control may seem like a daunting and unwanted task, but there are a few simple ways to help reduce pest infestations.
All pests initially enter your home from the outside. Therefore, these preventable measures will help ward off a pest infestation before it can become a noticeable problem inside the home.
1 - Keep all plants and mulch at least three feet from the house - It sounds simple enough, but this small adjustment helps ward off rodents, pillbugs, earwigs, centipedes and many insects that are attracted to flowers, leaves and the moisture that mulch holds.
2 - Tighten seals on doors and windows and use properly fitted screens - Pests are able to easily find their way indoors through even the smallest spaces and cracks, often entering a home through tiny gaps around plumbing pipes, under window frames, via improperly sealed attics and through various crawl spaces. To ensure pests don't gain access to the home, properly fit all screens to windows, make sure to repair any torn screens and always replace old weather-stripping for a better seal. If there are large holes or cracks, make sure to seal and caulk immediately to help prevent mice, spiders, and roaches from gaining entry.
3 - Eliminate all sources of standing water - Insects such as cockroaches, flies, and mosquitoes are often attracted to vessels of stagnant water. To prevent the accumulation of moisture, and thus the invitation of insects, repair roof leaks as quickly as possible. Check for plumbing leaks and remember to clear gutters of leaves and other debris on a regular basis. In doing so, water does not accumulate as a drinking or breeding source for cockroaches, mosquitoes, and others pests.
Once the outside of the home is secured, there are a number of additional ways to deter pests from entering the home.
4 - Bring pet food and water indoors overnight - Even if you change your pet's food and water bowl each morning to prevent stagnation, they act as a food source for rodents, ants, and other insects and encourage them to remain near the home.
5 - Clear garages and attics of all clutter - Creatures such as spiders and silverfish will often create nests in cluttered areas and cardboard boxes inside the home. To best ward off pests, reduce the number of cardboard boxes you keep and maintain all storage areas, ensuring they are kept organized and clean.
As you can see, you can greatly reduce pest infestations during the spring if you follow these five easy steps. If you'd like to learn more about how to protect your home visit Alterra, a leading provider in environmentally responsible pest solutions.