Plan smart to reduce pest activity. While certain pests such as black widows, ticks, and rodents pose serious health threats to your family and pets, other pests attack plants causing damage to leaves, flowers and other vegetation. Although there isn’t a way to completely pest-proof your home and property from year-round pest activity, you can proactively help reduce unwanted invaders following these simple prevention tips.
OUTDOORSAll pests initially enter your home from the outside. Therefore the majority of all pest problems can be kept at a minimum focusing your control efforts firstly outdoors:
- Take care of yard maintenance on a weekly basis. High grass, overgrown bushes, and decaying vegetation all provide key harboring sites for unwanted invaders. Remember to mow the lawn weekly and prune vegetation away from the home, with special attention to the eaves and roof to minimize ant and rodent traffic.
- Eliminate sources of standing water. This will help reduce insect populations, including spiders, ants, and mosquitos. Remember to repair roof leaks and clear gutters of leaves, as these can also accumulate moisture.
- Eliminate piles of firewood, bricks, rocks, and debris stacked near the home. This will reduce ideal nesting sites to many pests including carpenter ants, spiders, and rodents.
- Fit screens and tighten seals on doors and windows. Pests such as mosquitoes, flies, and others enter through these small openings. Make sure to repair torn screens, ensure foundation vents and attic vents are tightly-fitted, and replace old weather-stripping for a better seal.
- Seal and caulk cracks on the home’s exterior that may provide pest access inside. Mice, spiders, roaches, and many other pests can enter a home through tiny gaps around plumbing pipes and under window frames. Improperly sealed attics and crawl spaces are also pest access points.
- Keep plants three feet from the home. Many insects and rodents are attracted to leaves, flowers and fruit.
- Keep mulch three feet from the home. Insects such as earwigs, pillbugs, and centipedes are attracted to the moisture mulch holds.
- Keep garbage cans three feet from your home with a closed lid. Storing garbage outside will help to not attract unwanted invaders into the home. Garbage stored inside the garage or anywhere else indoors can be a magnet for flies, ants, and roaches.
INDOORSOnce you have secured the outside, there are several tips that can reduce the need for pests to enter your home’s structure:
- Keep food in tightly sealed containers or in the refridgerator. This will help to not attract pests inside, including ants, roaches, and other pantry pests.
- Bring pet food and water indoors overnight. This eliminates a possible food source for rodents, ants, and other insects.
- Clear garage and attic of clutter. Reducing clutter and cardboard boxes prevents insects from nesting, including spiders and silverfish.
- Check for plumbing leaks and seal gaps around pipes. This is important especially behind cabinetry to ensure water does not accumulate as a drinking source for spiders, ants, silverfish, and others.
- Keep air conditioning filters clean. Dirty filters can also cause moisture build-up attracting pests.
- For more tips regarding how to eliminate specific pest activity in and around the home, consult an Alterra professional. Working together, we can assure a pest-free environment for your home.
"Chris went above and beyond at our house on Tuesday. He found our queen wasp under a fence post cap and even offered to caulk the post to kill the colony. He was very knowledgeable about the wasps and ants. Would request him again!"
-Donovan O., St. Louis, MO