Minimize infestation with a few simple pest control precautions
General Pest Control Tips
Seal cracks in your home’s exterior to help keep pests like ants, spiders and cockroaches from getting inside.
Be sure all doors and windows are properly sealed with tight-fitting screens and weather-stripping.
Don’t leave uncovered food sitting out. It can attract flies that might land on it and spread harmful bacteria.
Consider storing clothing in plastic boxes or pouches to prevent fabric pests from getting to them.
Ensure that attic and crawl spaces have sufficient ventilation. Proper ventilation creates an inhospitable environment for cockroaches and other pests. It also improves the heating and cooling efficiency of the home.
Do not allow pet food to sit out overnight, whether indoors or outdoors.
Remove any piles of debris, stones, bricks, etc., around your home. They can harbor for pests, especially rodents.
Keep soil from touching wood to reduce pest access. If there must be wood to soil contact (on a porch or deck) use pressure-treated wood or material which is insect resistant.
Eliminating damp conditions, increasing ventilation and replacing decayed wood aids carpenter ant management and helps prevent future infestations. Focus especially on cellars, crawl spaces and under dirt-filled porches.
Adding crushed rock around flower and shrubbery beds instead of mulch eliminates both food and habitat for sow bugs, centipedes, millipedes and many other insects.
Keep gutters and roof lines in good repair and free of debris to reduce wood rot. This reduces breeding areas for wood destroying insects. Satellite carpenter ant colonies are usually in areas of moisture damaged wood.
Seal openings at plumbing, electrical, and telephone line entrances. This reduces access for carpenter ants, stinging insects, and other invaders.
Reduce plant cover around the foundation. Remove leaves and other debris under decks, in window wells, and behind bushes to eliminate decaying organic matter which may provide food and habitat for sow bugs, centipedes and millipedes.
Remove leaves and other debris under decks and porches, in window wells and behind bushes to eliminate decaying organic matter.
Ensure that all deck and porch flashing is in good repair to prevent water buildup and leaks. Carpenter ant infestations can originate from leaks between sliding glass doors and decks or porches.
Reduce plant cover on and around your home. Vines and shrubbery growing on decks, and up the side of your home should be removed or at least be well trimmed. This will eliminate dampness and decaying organic matter which can provide food and habitat for insects.
Remove dead or rotten trees and stumps from around your home. Termites and other wood destroying insects commonly feed in these areas.
Trim tree limbs that are in contact or overhang your home. This will reduce access for carpenter ants and squirrels.
Use indirect instead of direct lighting to avoid attracting flying insects at night. Also use sodium filled (yellow) light bulbs rather than mercury-filled bulbs. Move lighting away from your home and direct it toward your home to lure flying insects, spiders and earwigs away from the house.
Wash or replace pet bedding at this time of year to reduce fleas. Vacuum all pet resting and sleeping areas to eliminate flea eggs. Vacuuming is helpful in removing fleas from closets, behind and under furniture, and in other so called “quiet zones.”
Tears and holes in window, door and attic vent screens should be repaired to prevent flies, mosquitoes, stinging insects and cluster flies from entering your home.
Store firewood as far from your home as possible—out of the range of carpenter ants, termites and other wood-destroying insects.
Seal openings at plumbing, electrical, and telephone line entrances into your home. Sealing openings around these entries reduces access for many occasional invaders including house crickets, centipedes, millipedes and rodents.
Store recyclables away from the kitchen in sealed containers. Unsealed recyclables provide food, water, and shelter for insects such as cockroaches and flies.
Make sure shower and tub fixtures are well caulked and sealed to prevent infestation by moisture-loving insects such as silverfish.
Promptly repair any leaky plumbing fixtures. These provide a water source for many insects and rodents.
Clean the gutters. Fall is the time to prevent water and ice back ups from damaging your roof and soffit. Moisture damaged wood will provide an excellent carpenter ant nesting site in the spring.
Avoid prolonged storage of unused garments, bedding, fur or animal pelts, old wool rugs, or upholstered furniture to prevent carpet beetle, cloth moth and other fabric insect damage.
Keep kitchen cabinets, pantry areas and other food storage areas clean, since exposed food attracts insects. Use older products before newer ones, and use opened packages first.
Store dried foods in insect-proof containers such as screw top glass, heavy plastic, or metal containers. This prevents entry or escape of Indian Meal Moths and other pantry pests.
Purchase dried food in packages that can be used up in a short time. If you buy in bulk, however, whenever possible keep foods in dry storage for less than 2 to 4 months.
Repair basement windows, warped doors and holes in the foundation. These are invasion routes for mice, rats and even squirrels. Close bulkhead doors tightly. Cover vents with metal grillwork, backed by rust-resistant screening.
Keep trash containers clean, covered, and lined with plastic trash bags to prevent access to this food source by cockroaches and rodents.
Keep pet food sealed and indoors overnight to prevent infestation by Indian Meal Moths and other pantry pests.
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