Dreading the thought of spring cleaning? Think of it as two birds, one stone. Tackle dirt and pest prevention at the same time.
Most of us look forward to spring cleaning with a healthy combination of dread and enthusiasm. At first it seems like so. Much. Work. But once you get going, and once you finish, it’s the most rewarding thing you’ve done all year. Spotless, organized house, open windows, fresh air… sigh… You’re a (possibly self-promoted) domestic god/goddess, no question. Want to go the extra mile? Use your spring cleaning time to protect your home from pest pressure. Here are a few things to pay attention to while going about your usual spring ritual:
- De-clutter. Duh, you’re probably thinking, what else would I be doing?, but it’s not just about cleanliness and aesthetics. All of the “stuff” we store in our attics, basements, garages, and crawlspaces provides a number of pests with shelter, nesting material, and even food sources. Rodents, spiders, silverfish, centipedes, millipedes, crickets, and many other pests will take advantage of our disorganization.
- Please do not feed the animals. Not the pests, anyway. Please continue to feed your pets as normal. Store pet food in airtight containers and try to keep pet food and water dishes off the floor as much as possible. Make sure pantry items are in sealed containers and clean up crumbs and spills on countertops and floors as well as inside cabinets. This will deprive ants, rodents, pantry pests, and other kitchen pests of food sources and water.
- Seal it up. Ensure that all screens are intact and secure, all windows and doors close tightly, and seal any cracks and crevices you find, especially around windows, doors, utility lines, vents, roof lines, and foundations. Mice only need an opening the size of a dime to gain entry, and insects need even less than that.
- Dry out. Fix leaks on indoor and outdoor plumbing. Eliminate standing water both inside and out. Standing water outside can be found in unexpected places such as tire swings, gutters, buckets, yard toys, and wheelbarrows. Mosquitoes only need a thimbleful of water to breed, and other pests will be drawn to water sources on your property as well. If you must keep items like pet dishes or bird baths, be sure to refresh the water regularly.
- Get outside! Pests don’t magically appear inside your house- they begin outdoors. Clear up yard waste and debris such as leaf piles and fallen branches. Keep trash bins securely sealed and if possible, stored away in a shed or garage. Ensure that shrubbery and branches are trimmed and kept away from the foundation and roof lines of your home. Store firewood away from the home and off the ground. All of these efforts combined will help keep pests from mice to termites from claiming your outdoor space and making their way inside.
Of course, none of these tips are failsafe tactics. You may still need professional help, especially for challenging infestations. The good news is, Burgess Pest is here to help keep your fresh-and-clean home pest-free for the long haul, all year round. Give us a call for a free estimate; our techs will spring into action!