Why Spring Cleaning and Pest-Proofing are Important



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      Watch our 60-second video on how to pest-proof your home.

Are you making your spring cleaning plan? While you’re washing the windows and cleaning out the linen closet, add “pest-proofing” to your list.

April is the first full month of spring, a season when the population of common household insects typically increases, which can bring unwanted visitors into your home. Now is a great time to clean your home inside and out, especially with an eye toward keeping out household pests that tend to show up when seasons change. Prevention is one of your best pest defenses, and taking steps now to keep the bugs away as spring and summer heat up will help keep you and your family safe.

A Bad Year?

It’s important to be especially vigilant this year: Experts say that it’s shaping up as a particularly “pesky” time given weather conditions this past winter.

Mosquito swarm
Mosquitos swarm a window screen.

Early-season snowfall and cold temperatures across the country drove rodents and cockroaches indoors early in search of food and shelter, but record-high temperatures nationwide during December through March allowed pest populations to sustain activity well past the time that they normally decline.

While ant, rodent, and cockroach infestations typically spike this time of year, unseasonably warm and wet conditions are contributing to uncommon spikes in mosquitos and ticks as well, prompting experts to issue a word of caution for the season ahead.

“This extended period of warm, wet weather allowed more pests to survive the winter, setting the stage for more problems with household pests going into spring,” said Russ Horton, HomeTeam’s lead entomologist and vice president of technical services. “We’re expecting an increase in pest activity that will cause more headaches for homeowners this spring.”

Springtime Chores

A good, thorough cleaning is an important step in pest-proofing your home, since common house insects thrive in messes that go undetected. A deep cleaning makes your home less appealing to cockroaches and ants, for example, and decluttering areas like basements and crawl spaces can help ward off spiders. Removing mosquito “attractions” – places that collect standing water from your yard – cuts your risk for potentially dangerous mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile virus, Zika virus and Eastern equine encephalitis. Keeping rodents and cockroaches out of your home and yard helps avoid food contamination and respiratory issues that can develop from common allergies.

HomeTeam Pest Defense recommends these tips to help prevent infestations of household pests:

caulking windows, pest prevention
Seal potential entry points to keep pests out.
  • Caulk or close potential entry points.
  • Install screen windows and doors.
  • Wipe down kitchen surfaces, eliminating any sticky or sugary residues.
  • Seal cracks and small openings along the foundation of the house.
  • Trim tree branches and other plants away from the house.
  • Get rid of areas that will pool standing water around your home; fix leaky pipes and drains.
  • Keep kitchens clean – avoid leaving out dinner scraps and unwashed dishes; store leftover food in tightly covered containers, and empty the garbage frequently.
  • Avoid leaving pet food dishes out for long periods of time.
  • Keep trash containers clean and sealed, both indoors and outdoors.

Take care of these chores, and you’ll be on your way to pest-proofing your home for this year.

If you discover a pest infestation, contact a professional at HomeTeam Pest Defense right away to learn about your pest-management options. Our professional technicians can assess your home and discuss the different types of pest control that will combat and prevent pests in the most effective way possible.

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