Even if you don't care for winter's short days and cold weather, you're probably glad that at least the season is relatively pest-free. Like most people, you probably don't start your pest control techniques until pests start making their presence known in your yard and home interior. However, practicing preventative pest control can help keep both pest populations and pest control costs down. Here's what you can do in spring to help limit seasonal pests in your yard and home.
Clean the Yard Thoroughly
Pest populations begin outdoors. Some types remain there, chewing on your landscaping plants and grass, while others move indoors. You can curtail both types by cleaning your yard thoroughly in early spring before insect eggs start to hatch and rodents have their spring litters. The purpose of cleaning the yard thoroughly is to minimize habitat for pests. Pests like dark, hidden places for establishing nests, so remove anything that provides these conditions such as fallen leaves and other vegetative debris, including branches that may have fallen from trees during winter storms. You should also trim overgrown shrubs and hedges. To provide an extra layer of protection against insects that lay their eggs in standing water, such as mosquitoes, be sure to remove any containers from your outdoor living space that could catch rain or irrigation water -- and keep in mind that mosquitoes will lay eggs in water-filled containers as small as soup cans.
Identify and Seal Entry Points
Sealing entry points is standard practice during early fall because when nighttime temperatures begin to dip, rodents and certain insects start their search for cozy quarters to spend the winter or lay their eggs. Because many homeowners do this as a matter of routine in early fall, it often isn't on their radar for springtime pest control tactics. However, winter wear and tear could have created new entry points, so make a point of going around your home's exterior and searching for anything that could provide access to your home exterior by opportunistic insects or animal pests. Don't forget to secure your attic area against access by squirrels -- they love to make their nests in attics during spring and summer. This is also a good time to ensure that all door and window screens are free of holes and possible points of entry.
Look for Leaks Under Sinks and in Roofs
One solid rule of thumb you can count on concerning household pests is that they follow the water -- and not only because the need a source of drinking water -- many insect pests actually feed on the mold and mildew colonies that damp conditions produce. Besides obvious leaks, look for areas with rotting wood or surface dampness that may indicate that moisture levels are high. If you live in an area that experiences significant atmospheric moisture, consider purchasing dehumidifiers for areas such as basements and kitchens. Also, check around bathtubs, showers, and toilets for signs that seals need to be replaced.
Clear Out Interior Nooks and Crannies
Just like outdoor yard debris can provide prime nesting places and habitat for a variety of insect and rodent pests, clutter on the interior of your home can also be conducive to high levels of pest populations. Paper products provide food and shelter for insects such as silverfish, and almost all insects are attracted to bit of dried food in pantries. Many homeowners make the mistake of thinking that food in paper, plastic, or even cardboard packaging that has not been opened can't be accessed by insect pests, but this is not the case. Some insects can chew through coverings and sneak in through seams. Consider investing in a nice set of thick plastic or metal canisters with tight seals to keep your stored foods safe from pest infestations.
Please feel free to contact a local pest control company like American Pest Control Inc for more help on getting a head start this spring on the war on pests.