Is something bugging you? Preventing those active pests

Published on Friday, August 30, 2013

Enlarge photo

Is something bugging you? Preventing those active pests

Enlarge photo

Family Features

Seasons come and go, but pests are active and potentially pose damage to health and property all year long. Protecting your family and home isn't a seasonal chore, but with the right proactive approach it doesn't have to be a daunting one either. 

Many make it too easy for pests to become unwanted roommates or neighbors. When making your seasonal housekeeping list, add pest prevention to changing your smoke detector batteries, rotating ceiling fan blades and deep cleaning. 

Whether you have mice looking for a cozy place to settle for the winter, or mosquitoes scouting out standing water in the summer, use the following approaches to prevent pests from intruding on your family and home each season of the year. 

Don't "fall" behind

Fall is the time to inspect your property and protect it from pests looking for a winter home. Take an integrated approach to identifying, monitoring and preventing potential problems. The following tips will help with cooler weather preparation:  

  • Rake fallen leaves and clean out gutters as pests can congregate in fallen foliage. As an added benefit, this may help improve your home's curb appeal. Numerous studies link landscaping and well-maintained lawns to property value increases of 11 to 15 percent.
  • Don't transport firewood more than 10 miles away from your home. Invasive insects, such as the emerald ash borer, can hitch a ride and begin new infestations within their surroundings. 
  • Enjoy picnics or tailgating events, but keep all open food in sealed containers to prevent attracting ants, mice and other insects and rodents.

Lock it down in winter

Just like us, pests are looking for a warm home and good food as they hunker down for the winter months. Perform the following preventive activities around your home to keep your family safe and sound all winter long:

  • Use caulk or concrete to repair all cracks, crevices and leaks no matter how small. Mice can fit through cracks as thin as a pencil.
  • Check for bed bugs who may be hitchhiking in your suitcase while traveling for the holidays. Bites can be painful, irritating and may cause allergic reactions.
  • Cover mattresses and pillows with dust-proof, zippered covers tested and rated for dust mites. Sheets and bugs can trigger asthma, cause dermatitis and transmit disease.

Spring cleaning

Warmer weather awakens weeds, insects and other pests, so incorporate pest prevention measures as a part of your spring cleaning. The following are easy ways to protect your home as temperatures begin to rise:

  • Trim trees and brush, creating enough room to comfortably walk between your house and your shrubs. Branches can create a bridge into your home for pests and wildlife.
  • Clean up yard debris that may have accumulated from storms, such as dead plants, weeds and fallen branches, as it can provide a place for pests to reside.
  • Take a proactive approach to protecting your yard from pests through the strategic use of approved and registered products. Consider a perimeter yard spray, but always read and follow label instructions before using products or hire a licensed lawn and landscape professional. 

INSPECT and protect your home

The best approach to pest management is an integrated strategy that balances prevention, sanitation, maintenance and treatment. The following are six easy steps from the Debug the Myths INSPECT acronym to identify and protect your home, lawn and, while you're at it, your family and pets, too.

  • IN = Investigate Investigate your home and yard for clues that pests may be present. You never know where they may be lurking, so keep your eyes open.
  • S = Study Don't trust your instincts. Study up on the common pests in your area. Learn more about the pests causing problems and the damage they can cause.
  • P = Prepare Plan how to most effectively solve your pest problems. Proper planning includes understanding the safe and correct way to execute any pest control approach.
  • E = Eliminate Now it's time to put your plan in place. Start by eliminating pests' access points into your home and eliminating habits that may be attracting these uninvited guests.
  • C = Clean Maintaining a tidy home and lawn is essential for discouraging pests from calling your home theirs.
  • T = Treat Proactive and preventive treatment is key to keeping pests under control. Properly treating for problems proactively or at the first sign of infestation will keep your home pest-free.


Related Photo Galleries

Leave a Comment

Trending: Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, Obituaries, Chon Restaurant, Allen Bennett Hospital


View All Events