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Spring is here and you know what that means – time to tackle some home projects you put off throughout the winter. Did you know that some simple home improvement projects can help you reduce the chance of pest problems as the weather warms up? If you’re ready to get a jump on pests, check out our six “honey-do” list items and see what home projects you can cross off your list to keep pests away from your home.
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As the seasons change, so do the pests that crawl and fly in and around your home. In the fall, you may be more concerned about mice, rats, and bed bugs, while in the spring and summer, bees, mosquitoes, and ticks may cause a headache (and potential health issues!). Here are a few of the most common nuisance pests found in and around homes in the spring and summer.
Doing minor tasks around your home can help to prevent these common pests in the warmer months.
Gutters can become clogged by leaves, twigs, and debris that can keep them from flowing freely. That means that moisture could also be collecting. All of this is a perfect recipe for pest problems and potential damage to your home if water backs up. Doing a clean sweep of your gutters and removing all of that accumulation may not be fun, but it will help keep your home pest-free.
Be sure you’re safe when tackling this task. When using a ladder, be sure it is in good condition, appropriate for the height, and stabilized. Wear fall protection equipment, such as a hard hat, to protect yourself.
Check for gaps and cracks around your windows and door so you don’t let pests walk right into your home! These cracks and gaps are a natural occurrence as homes settle, but they create prime opportunities for pests to get inside your home (and hide in areas you may not see, such as inside wall voids). Seal these openings to keep pests from coming in. Here are some quick tips for this simple home improvement project:
Timing is important for this task. Wait until it’s been warm for a few weeks so that overwintering pests have enough time to escape and you don’t accidentally seal them inside your home.
Nothing ruins the joy of having the windows and doors open faster than insects getting into the house. If your screens have holes or tears or don’t fit properly, pests can simply come right on in. Do a quick inspection of all your screens. Patch any holes or tears, or replace screens that are badly damaged or no longer fit properly.
Use ¼-inch mesh or smaller screening to keep insect pests out – anything larger will allow pests entry.
Your deck could be the target of many pests, including carpenter bees, carpenter ants, and termites. Giving your deck a fresh coat of stain or paint can reduce the chances of damage from these pests. Painting on a fresh coat will lessen your deck’s susceptibility to moisture – although it won’t eliminate it entirely.
There are pros and cons to both stain and paint. Paint can create areas where water pools and that can cause moisture damage. However, it tends to last longer than stain. Stain needs to be redone every few years, so if that’s the way you go, be prepared to refresh your deck in a year or two. A home improvement professional can advise you on the best option based on your deck and your area.
If you’re storing firewood next to your home for easy access, it could be a great hiding place for pests such as rodents, spiders, and many other insects. The closer pests are to your home, the more likely they are to find a way in. Move your firewood to an area away from your home or other structures.
If you decide to take on this task, close windows and doors that are close by and wear a pair of heavy-duty gloves. This ensures that if you disturb any pests, they won’t bite or scatter into your home. Gloves can also help you avoid splinters.
Because they are often undisturbed for long periods of time, your basement, attic, shed, and garage make the perfect hiding places for pests. These areas have temperatures that suit different species of pests. Cardboard boxes make great hiding and nesting places and both the boxes and their contents can offer food sources. Protect your belongings by sealing them in more durable plastic storage containers, as these containers are harder for pests to get into.
Rodents, bats, and even birds can take up residence in these areas. Droppings from these pests can carry pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and spores that are harmful to humans. If you see droppings, don’t aerosolize those droppings. Wet them down first with an appropriate disinfectant. Be sure to ventilate the area and do not breathe in particles.
These are just a few of the home projects that you can undertake to keep pests away from your home. You can add even more protection to your home with our annual pest-free service, PestFree365+. This year-long program keeps your home protected from over 36 of the most common household pests with unlimited service calls and regularly scheduled preventative services and inspections. Contact us to get pest-free!