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The blooming flowers, sunny skies, and much-anticipated return of warmer weather across the country are not the only signs that spring has officially sprung. The change in seasons is also marked by the emergence of common springtime pests—from ants, cockroaches, and flies to termites and stinging insects. In fact, the pest control industry deems this time of year the start of pest season, as many insects begin to emerge from their winter hiding spots to mate and find new places to form colonies, and that often includes our homes.
Pest Prevention Tactics
The best way to minimize the chance of an infestation this spring is prevention. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends conducting an audit around the perimeter of your home to look for potential pest harborage sites, such as abandoned tires, rotted tree stumps, and piles of leaves or debris. There are also a handful of other do-it-yourself pest prevention tactics that you can complete in a day’s work to help keep bugs and rodents from becoming unwanted houseguests.
8 Home Projects For a Pest-free Spring
Consider these eight simple home improvement projects to ensure you enjoy a pest-free spring.
1. Seal any cracks and crevices with silicone caulk, paying special attention to areas where utility pipes enter the structure. Young cockroaches, for example, only need a crack as thin as a dime to crawl into.
2. Screen windows and seal potential entryways, repairing any rips or tears in screens. Also, screen attic vents and openings to chimneys.
3. Replace weatherstripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
4. Clean out leaves and other debris from your gutters to prevent standing water, which can provide the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes and other pests.
6. Properly landscape around the home to avoid providing pest harborage sites. Keep shrubbery trimmed and ensure mulch is at least 15 inches from the foundation.
7. Direct water away from the house through properly functioning downspouts, gutters, and splash blocks. Repair leaking faucets, water pipes, and AC units.
8. Be sure to keep basements, attics, and crawlspaces well ventilated and dry.
Being proactive can go a long way in preventing a pest infestation, but there is always the chance that a creepy cockroach or army of ants could find its way inside the confines of your home, especially during the spring and summer months when pest pressure is at its highest. Once inside, some pest species can cause serious health threats to our families, while others can inflict extensive property damage.
If you suspect an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional who has the tools and expertise needed to inspect your home, properly identify the problem, and recommend the best course of action. Oftentimes, people are tempted to take matters into their own hands to try and get rid of a pest problem, but the truth is that pests are better left to the professionals.
For more information on common household pests, visit PestWorld.org.
This post has been brought to you by National Pest Management Association.