It’s that time of year again! 2018 is winding down and the time has come to start thinking about your New Year’s resolutions. If you’re like most of us, saving more money and having less stress definitely make our list of resolutions. What we don’t often think of as a resolution is pest-proofing your home. In fact, pest-proofing can actually save you money and stress in the long run. Most pests are seasonal – spiders and rodents are common in the winter months while mosquitoes are prevalent in the warmer months. There are, however, steps you can take any time of year to prevent pests year-round. Check out these 8 tips to pest-proof your home this New Year’s.
Put The Decorations Away Properly
As the holiday season winds down, we’re now faced with the sometimes arduous task of taking down and putting away our holiday decorations. Now is the time to go through them and get rid of any broken, worn out, or outdated decorations before you put the boxes away. Store your decorations in plastic containers that seal tightly rather than cardboard. Store your containers off the floor if possible. Make sure to properly dispose of live trees, wreaths, garland, etc.
Keep The Kitchen Clean
Pests come into our home for 3 reasons: shelter, food, and water. Keeping your home, and especially your kitchen, clean can eliminate 2 of those reasons. Clean your kitchen after each meal, wiping up crumbs and spills immediately. Store food, including pet food, in air tight containers. Sweep, dust, and vacuum regularly. Dispose of your garbage regularly and use garbage cans with lids.
Seal The Gaps
Pests often only need a very tiny crack or gap to gain access to your home. Inspect all of the exterior walls of your home for cracks and gaps and seal them tightly with caulk. Be especially careful around the places where utilities and pipes come into the home. Use door sweeps on all your exterior doors to seal the gap between the floor and the door. Use screens on doors and windows and make sure they are in good repair.
Move Your Firewood
There are lots of pests that like to hang out in the woodpile, hitching rides into your home on the logs. Keep your firewood stored at least 20 feet away from your home and elevate it if possible. Make sure to brush it off before you bring it indoors.
Prevent Pests Outdoors Too
Pest-proofing isn’t just limited to the inside of your home. Pest-proofing the outside of your home is also critical. Get rid of any dead bushes and branches and rake up all the leaves from your yard. Clean your gutters or consider installing gutter guards to eliminate clogs and standing water. Trim your bushes and trees back so they aren’t touching the sides of your home.
Eliminate The Moisture
Many pests like cockroaches are attracted to water. Check your home for leaks, even those that don’t seem like a big deal like dripping faucets and loose fixtures. Consider enclosing your crawlspace to reduce moisture under your home.
You don’t have to wait for spring to spring clean! Check that resolution off your list a few months early. Start at the lowest level of your home and work your way up room by room. Clear the floors, dust, sweep, mop, vacuum, clean out closets and drawers and get rid of anything you don’t need.
Call A Pro
If this all seems to overwhelming or if you already have a pest problem in your home, call a professional pest control company. The pros can assess your home from top to bottom and identify any sources of pest problems and provide you with a thorough evaluation and set you up with a treatment and prevention plan.
Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to start looking ahead to the New Year. Like most of us, you’re probably going into 2018 with a renewed sense of motivation. What is your New Year’s resolution? Will you try to lose weight? Will you try to spend less time online and more time outside? Will you finally finish that project you’ve wanted to start but never had the time? Whatever you decide, make sure pest control makes it to the top of your list. Here are 5 easy tips to make your home pest free for the New Year!
- Clean It: Make cleaning a part of your daily routine. Remove built up grease from your kitchen and appliances. Clean up crumbs and spills from those hard to reach places. Sweep and vacuum your floors regularly. Try to clean up crumbs and spills immediately. Keep food (including pet food) stored in sealed containers and don’t leave them out overnight. Organize clutter, especially in areas you don’t frequent very often like your attic, garage, and basement. If possible, store items in plastic containers rather than cardboard. Store your firewood at least 20 feet from your home and elevate it 5 feet off the ground.
- Fix It: Check your windows and doors for cracks and holes in both the seals and the screens. Fill holes and repair or replace screens. Replace weatherstripping if needed. Check along your foundation and fill holes with caulk or cover them with screens. Install screens over chimney vents and openings.
- Dry It: Check the inside and outside of your home including your crawlspace for standing water. Check for leaky pipes, drips, and stagnant water which all attract pests and can cause mold and mildew. Repair any leaky pipes and remove any standing water. Consider enclosing your crawlspace under your home.
- Inspect It: Check wires, walls, and insulation for signs of pests such as gnaw marks. Replace any damaged wires and chewed insulation. Consider TAP insulation which not only provides better energy efficiency but also provides pest control. Carefully inspect any packages you bring home or take out of storage for signs of pests (rodent droppings, chew marks, etc). Inspect your luggage when returning from travels. Consider an annual termite inspection for your home.
- Prevent It: It is less expensive to have scheduled preventative pest control services than waiting to call for services after you have a problem. Scheduled preventative services can not only provide you with year round preventative treatments but can also identify signs of a potential problem before it gets out of hand. Schedule preventative services with a professional pest control company.