Spring Pest Prevention Tips
Nobody wants to use more pesticide than they need to around their home. It may create more peace of mind if you are terrified of insects, but it’s really just costing you money and unnecessarily jeopardizing your health.
By pest proofing your home and focusing on preventative exterior pest control treatments to keep bugs out, you’ll never need to apply pesticides indoors or pay for a full insect clean-out treatment.
Pest Proofing Your Home Exterior
To pest proof your home, think like an insect. Walk around the exterior perimeter of your home and look from the foundation up to the eaves. Do you see any cracks or holes bugs or rodents may be able to squeeze through? They can and will use these entry points to get inside.
Once bugs get inside the walls of your home, they’ll start reproducing and by then you’ll likely need a professional interior pest control treatment to remove them.
We recommend using silicone caulk, which can be purchased at your local home improvement stores, to seal these potential entry points if they are small. Often the most common location these holes are found are along the foundation of the home and around entry points for utilities and pipes.
If they are larger holes, a better option may be pre-mixed concrete, spray foam, and/or steel mesh.Be sure to visually inspect all soffit vents under the eaves of your home, as over time the screening may become damaged or it may fall off completely.
While many people are focused on the little holes pests can get through, they overlook the biggest entry point of all, open garage doors! When the weather is nice out, many people leave their garage doors open.
This literally leaves a wide open door for pests such as roof rats to get inside, especially if there is a food source like a bag of bird seed in the garage. At night especially this will lead to bugs such as American Cockroaches flying in, since they will be attracted to the bright light coming from inside the garage.
Eliminate Food and Water Sources That Attract Pests
Carefully walk your property and look for any standing water. Standing water will be a source of insect activity and will result in mosquito breeding. Look for pots and other containers that may be hidden behind trees and landscape plantings. Check your gutters, as over time if they are not cleaned, leaf debris will create standing water.
Hire a licensed lawn and ornamental pest control company to treat the landscape on a regular basis for insects. Various insects feed off of plants and trees such as aphids, mealy bugs, scale, caterpillars and whitefly. These plant damaging insects often produce a substance called honeydew which is a food source for ants and cockroaches. By eliminating these insects, you will reduce the amount of honeydew on your property, making it less attractive to pests that will eventually try to find a way into your home.
Keep your kitchen clean by wiping down counters and other food preparation surfaces daily. Take out the trash frequently and store it in sealed receptacles outdoors. Also avoid leaving pet food dishes out for long periods of time.
Make Your Property Inhospitable to Pests
“If you build it, they will come.” Laying out the welcome mat for pests in the form of moist hiding places will certainly bring more of these various critters to your property.
Do you store firewood on your property? This will most definitely be an area pests will nest around. Make sure all firewood storage is at least 20 feet away from your home. It would be ideal to store the firewood on top of a concrete blocks or poles – anything to keep it off the ground.
Take a walk around your home and make sure no plants or tree branches are touching the structure. With honeydew being a common food source for pests present on plants, there is a strong likelihood they will at some point be trailing up plants for food. If these plants are touching your home, they are creating the perfect bridge for pests to cross over preventative pest control treatments in search of more food and water within your home.
Preventative Pest Control Applications
Once pests get inside your home, getting rid of them will require an interior and exterior treatment. This will require various non-repellent products including sprays and baits.
Being proactive and treating BEFORE pests get inside will allow you to avoid having to have the interior treated and will require fewer pest control products to achieve control. If done correctly, a regular quarterly exterior only application will keep bugs out of your home.
A good preventative treatment will include a combination of products and application methods for the best long-term control. This will likely include a granular insect bait such as Maxforce Complete Granular Insect Bait, a targeted spray such as Demand CS applied to the plants and exterior entry points, and physical removal of spider webs and wasps nests on the exterior of your home.