Q. Now that it’s summer-time, do you have any suggestions for keeping insects out and my home pest free?
A. Here are some steps you can take now to help keep your home pest-free for years to come.
Inside Your Home
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends a few things you can do inside your house to control future infestations:
- Starve them out — keep a tight lid on the trash and empty it often. Clean up spills immediately and store food such as cereal, flour and sugar in plastic containers rather than in their original packaging.
- Dry them out — some pests, such as cockroaches, can survive a long time without food, but need water more often to survive. To shut off their supply, be sure to fix leaky faucets, radiators, dishwashers, and washing machines immediately and empty flower pots and plant stands of excess water.
- Keep them out — seal cracks and openings along baseboards, behind sinks, and around pipes and windows. Repair holes in door and window screens.
Outside Your Home
Pests enter your home from the outside, so you will also need to prepare the exterior of your house to keep pests out:
- Look for cracks and holes on the outside of your home and seal them up. Be sure to include points where utility lines enter the house. Also address damage to the basement foundation and windows.
- Check your landscaping. Rake mulch away from the base of your home and keep it to a minimum to allow for adequate drainage. Trim back tree branches and bushes so they do not make contact with the house. Remove tree stumps from your yard.
- Keep firewood piles stacked outside of your home neat, away from the house and off the ground.
- Make sure basements and attics are well ventilated and dry.
- Head up to the roof to look for any rotted or decaying shingles.
- When you’re looking at your roof, also check that your gutters are free of debris.
These simple steps now can save you a lot of headache and money down the road from these unwanted visitors.
You can find more information about pest-free protection on EPA’s website at www.epa.org/pesticides.