Prevent pests with effective S.P.R.I.N.G cleaning tips
(NC) Before rushing outdoors to break cabin fever after this historically cold winter, don't go too far. Experts tell us that a little spring cleaning can go a long way when it comes to pest control.
“With this year's bitter winter, it's possible that more pests than normal will be in search of the shelter, food and water homes offer,” says Alice Sinia, PhD, a resident entomologist for leading pest control company, Orkin Canada. “As temperatures rise, pests become more active, so homeowners should take the necessary steps while cleaning to help protect their homes against possible infestations.”
Spring is the perfect time for pests to exit their hiding spots and become more visible. To prepare for this says Sinia, establish an integrated pest management (IPM) approach toward pest control. IPM incorporates proactive techniques such as exclusion, sanitation and home maintenance to help keep pests out of your home.
The following tips – motivated by SPRING – will help to keep your home pest-free:
• Screen and Seal: Inspect for potential entry points. Structural deterioration may have occurred during the harsh winter conditions so those spots may have to be screened or sealed. Install or repair window screens and seal any cracks and crevices with steel mesh and caulking to prevent easy access to the inside.
• Property Clean-up: Dense landscaping can provide cover and harbourage points for pests. Clean out gutters and trim vegetation near the home to eliminate hiding places and identify any access points.
• Relationship: Build a relationship with a pest management provider (unlike pests, they won't bite says Sinia). A reliable provider is a good partner in pest management and will take the time to create a customized IPM program for your home.
• Inspection: As temperatures increase above 15 degrees Celsius, inspect your home for spring pests such as spiders, ants, centipedes and cockroaches. If you have any sightings of these pests, you could have a larger infestation. Immediately contact your pest management provider.
• Nix clutter: Nix the clutter that has built up over the winter months. Old cardboard boxes, containers and unused equipment piled up in basements and garages can create harbourage for pests. Consider replacing all cardboard boxes with plastic storage bins. Pay attention to clothes piled in closets and storage rooms as these areas are a common hiding spot.
• Go Green: By taking preventative measures to manage pest risks, you reduce not only pest pressures, but also the potential for treatments in and around your home. Simple spring cleaning chores like dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning out closets can help reduce pests in and around your home.
Your local pest management provider can help you get started on a customized program.