Hot summer days and warm summer nights are here and bugs are headed our way. Ants, spiders, fleas, roaches, flies, termites, mosquitoes and a lot of other creepy crawlies are headed out of fields and canyons and even the neighbors’ yards and making a beeline (pun intended) to the relative safety and coolness of our homes. Yes, bugs will be taking advantage of our homes and yards because they provide an abundance of food, water and shelter. Everything a Bug needs to survive.
Just as we retreat into our homes’ cooler environment when it gets hot. Bugs are looking for cool places to hang out, grab a bite to eat and set up housekeeping. Our homes and well watered, landscaped yards are a perfect place to chill.
It’s virtually impossible to bug proof your home completely. Like it or not, some insects will find a way into your house. But you don’t have to make it easy for them! Invest a little time in these home maintenance and housekeeping tasks, and you will greatly reduce your chances of a major insect infestation.
- Take time to inspect the outside of the home for easy access points, paying special attention to areas where utility pipes enter. Seal any small cracks and crevices with a silicone-based caulk. Use steel wool to fill larger gaps and holes, as pests are often deterred away from the roughness of the steel fibers.
- Keep an eye out for signs of termite damage, such as mud tubes, soft wood that sounds hollow when tapped, and cracked or bubbling paint.
- Properly landscape by keeping the grass cut low and ensuring tree branches, shrubbery and other vegetation is well trimmed and away from the house.
- Clean out leaves and other debris from the gutters to prevent standing water, which can provide the perfect breeding ground for pests.
- Repair fascia and rotted roof shingles; some insects are drawn to deteriorating wood.
- Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
- Screen windows, attic vents and openings to chimneys. Repair any rips or tears.
- Direct water away from the house through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks. Repair leaking faucets, water pipes and AC units.
- Store fire wood at least 20 feet away from the house.
- Keep mulch at least 15 feet away from the foundation.
- Dispose of garbage regularly in a sealed trash bin.
- Keep kitchens clean by wiping down counter tops and sweeping floors to remove crumbs and residue from spills. Also, store food in sealed containers, and keep ripe fruit in the refrigerator.
- Vacuum at least once a week.
- Keep pet bowls clean and wipe up any spilled food or water around them promptly. Store dry pet food in a sealed plastic container rather than the paper bags they often come in.
- Consult your vet about a preventative treatment for dogs and cats to help ward off fleas and ticks.
- Routinely check under sinks for areas of moisture and repair any leaky pipes. Consider using a dehumidifier in damp basements, crawl spaces or attics.
Eliminating pests once they’ve become entrenched inside of your home can be a real challenge, and once inside, some pests can cause serious property damage while others can pose health risks.
Preparation will eliminate frustration! But if you are already in the middle of a “Bad Bug” attack, check out this link for expert help: http://www.corkyspest.com/ultimate/ultimate-service.html