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Spring Cleaning Tips To Keep Your Home Pest-Free

spring cleaningIt has been a long, wet winter and springtime is finally here. Our lawns and plants are now turning green again, and all sorts of insects and rodents are coming back to life. That means it is only a matter of time before they start invading our homes and businesses.
With the winter storms behind us, it is time to start doing some spring cleaning around our homes and businesses. Here are some things you can do while you’re cleaning up to help keep your home pest-free:

1. Control excess moisture. Insects and rodents love water, and this should always be your first step when trying to prevent pest problems. Check for plumbing leaks, roof leaks, leaky rain gutters, etc. Check your lawn sprinkler system, and make adjustments if needed. Insects and rodents need a lot of water and if you keep your home as dry as possible, these pests will find your home a lot less attractive.
2. Eliminate food sources. This is a completely natural way to control pests because if they don’t have anything to eat, they will either die off or be forced to move to another location so they can survive. You can solve a lot of insect and rodent problems by not leaving dirty dishes in the sink, emptying your trash cans daily, and keeping your food in sealed containers. Check around your kitchen appliances and cabinets and you may find food debris in these areas. By cleaning up that stuff, you’ll make your kitchen a lot less attractive for pests. Also, if you have pets, don’t leave their food and water bowls out at night because you’ll frequently find ants, roaches and rodents eating and drinking out of them..
3. Clean up leaf piles and debris from around your homes and businesses. Insects and rodents cannot survive without a place to live, and by cleaning up this stuff, a lot of pests will disappear naturally.
4. Keep all plants and trees cut back away from your home. You should cut all trees back at least 4 feet away from your home, and make sure that none of the tree branches are left hanging over your roof. You’ll find this to be a very effective control measure because it discourages insects and rodents from entering your home or business.
5. Remove fruit bearing plants that attract insects and rodents. You may also want to remove other plants that harbor honey-dew producing insects (Fig trees, cherry laurel, bamboo, oleander, etc.).
6. Keep firewood off the ground and store it away from your home. Also, be sure to check for pests before bringing any firewood inside your home.
7. Seal up cracks and holes on exterior walls. This helps to keep pests out and eliminates places for them to hide. Installing weather stripping around your doors
and windows is also a great idea.
8. Inspect the screens on your doors and windows. By keeping these screens in good working order, you’ll be able to keep a lot of pests out of your home. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check the screens in your attic, garage and subarea vents. These screens are especially important because they keep out birds, rodents and small animals.
9. Guard against pest invaders by checking incoming items for “hitchhiking” bugs. It is very common to see many types of pests brought in with luggage, laundry and groceries. You should also carefully inspect any flowers or plants before you bring them into your home because you’ll often find insects living in them.
10. Ensure good ventilation in attics, garages and subareas. An effective ventilation system will help keep these areas dry, will naturally reduce the amount of insects and will help to prevent mold and mildew problems.
11. Keep food and garbage in tightly sealed containers. This is especially important to do at night because that is when many pests are most active.

If you’ll take these tips and put them to use, you’ll find that you can prevent a lot of pest problems without using any pesticides. Sometimes, you may find that the application of a pesticide is still needed. If this is the case, you should always select the least toxic product, use the least amount possible and follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions.
Do you have a pest problem that you need help with? Call us at (949) 631-7348 and we’ll be happy to schedule an appointment at your convenience.