With spring officially beginning this week, people are preparing to head outside after another long winter. As projects and outdoor activities pick up during the spring, pest activity also returns.
Before you kick off your lawn care, landscaping and home improvement projects this spring, keep pest prevention in mind. Taking simple preventative measures can help avoid an infestation.
1. Seal any cracks on the outside of the home with a silicone-based caulk, including entry points for utilities and pipes.
2. Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around the foundation and windows.
3. Keep tree branches and shrubbery well-trimmed and away from the house.
4. Keep mulch at least 15 inches from the foundation (stones are a great alternative).
5. Eliminate sources of standing water around the house, including birdbaths and in clogged gutters.
If you suspect a pest infestation in your home, it’s best to contact a professional pest control provider to assess the situation.
Don’t start packing away your boots and sweaters just yet. Punxsutawney Phil made his prediction: winter is hanging around for six more weeks. Whether or not you trust long range forecasts from groundhogs, the truth is that we are still in the middle of winter. You only have to look outside at the blanket of snow covering the ground for proof.
While we’re free from worrying about mosquitoes and bees for now, plenty of pests are seeking shelter from the cold during the winter months. Rodents, spiders and cockroaches are more than just an inconvenience – they also carry health hazards.
The National Pest Management has tips that homeowners can use to help keep winter pests in the cold and out of their living space:
- Seal cracks and holes on the outside of your home to help prevent rodents from getting inside. Be sure to check the areas where utilities and pipes enter the home. A mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime.
- Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home. Mice and ants can make their nests in wood piles and easily gain access to your home if the pile is nearby.
- Rodents can hide in clutter, so keep storage areas well organized, and store boxes off of the floor.
- Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains. Extra attention should be paid to kitchens and bathrooms as these areas are particularly vulnerable to cockroach infestations.
- Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens in windows.
- Screen vents to chimneys. Keep attics, basements and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.