Keeping a home spotless will help prevent and/or reduce pest problems. By keeping a spotless home reduces food and water sources for pests. Unfortunately, environmental factors also play a major factor.
Here are some ways to prevent pests by understanding environmental factors:
Keeping trees and shrubs from touching your home will help prevent carpenter ants, spiders, mice, squirrels and wildlife (Racoons). By trimming trees and shrubs you eliminate a highway these pests can travel into your home. It will also reduce moisture and mold. Reducing moisture is a key factor in preventing carpenter ants, spiders, and bees. When shrubs are trimmed at least one foot from the house it allows air to get between the bushes and the house which allows the area to dry out. It also reduces harborage areas for mice and insects. Mice are small creatures and like to hide from people and potential predators. Insect pests also have predators. With lots of coverage, they can hide and multiply. By trimming trees you also allow the home to dry out after rains and high humidity. Moisture may be the biggest reason for pests entering homes.
Make sure gutters are clean and in working order. When gutters are not clean moisture accumulates. Moisture not only creates an excellent environment for carpenter ants but attracts bees, wasps, and hornets. Water is the number one thing pests need to survive.
Make sure mulch is not touching the siding. Three inches between the mulch and the siding of a home is preferred. Keep at least one inch. If the mulch is covering the bottom of siding the wood gets wet. When the siding is covered and gets wet it makes an extremely conducive environment for termites. Wet wood is also very attractive to carpenter ants, spiders, beetles, and numerous other pests.
Make sure mulch is not too deep. We see a lot of houses that have mulch multiple inches deep. The deeper the mulch the higher the moisture content. The higher the moisture content the more attractive to pests. Deep mulch will also create mold and mold spores. Many homes have little black/brown dots on the siding of there home. These are mold spores. The deeper the mulch equals more spores.
Storing firewood next to your home will attract mice, ants, crickets and other pests. It should be stored at least (minimum) twenty feet from the house.
Keep flour, grains and other processed food items in containers. Pantry pests are brought in from the store in these items. Tupperware, Rubbermaid and ziplock bags are great things to keep these pests contained. One of the most common problems we encounter with pantry pests is when one of these items gets stored in the back of the cabinet and forgotten.
Make sure stored items in garages, basements, attics and under decks are rearranged occasionally. If stored items are not moved every once in awhile pests may infest them. Pests like consistency. By moving these items you put pests under stress which causes them to look for other harborages. Mice can live in a bag of birdseed in a garage their entire life and not leave the bag. A box of dried flowers or Beanie Babies can create an environment in which pests never have to leave. Once the pest population grows these pests will migrate to the living areas of a home. Any of these stored items may attract pests. Mice, ants, pantry pests are common pests found in these areas.
It is impossible to totally seal my home to prevent pests from entering? Here are some simple things to do: Seal exterior openings. Seal openings around air conditioning hose, water spigots, gas lines, and cable lines. This will help stop mice, ants, crickets, spiders and other pests. Make sure screens are tight, have no holes and are in working order. This will help with mosquitoes, flies, bees, yellow jackets and other flying pests. Make sure the seal at the bottom of the garage door is pliable and in good working order. This will help with many pests. The most common way pests enter homes is when the garage door is left open for a long period of time. Closing the garage door will prevent mice, squirrels, ants, bees, spiders and numerous other pests.
Maintaining a clean home will definitely reduce pests. Cleanliness will place pests under stress. With little or no food or water creates an environment that pests do not want to inhabit. Cleanliness is a cornerstone of Integrated Pest Management. Employing Integrated Pest Management will lead to reducing the number of pesticides applied.
These are a few items that can help prevent pests. If you have any questions or want service regarding pest issues, please contact us!