As the holidays wind to a close and 2016 begins, individuals all over America set goals so they can start the year on the right foot. Along with setting personal or professional goals, many of them list home improvement projects to make 2016 their best year yet.
Whether you aim to remodel your bathrooms, upgrade your carpet, or reorganize your garage so the car fits better, one additional goal will help your home stay comfortable and clean all year long: eliminating pests. You don’t have to take care of this goal all at once-in fact, you can split it up into easy-to-implement seasonal sections that make this goal much more achievable.
With a little help from our guide below, you won’t have to let this particular New Year’s resolution go to waste. Instead, implement the tips we list to reap the rewards of a pest-free home all year long.
Hopefully, you’ve already read our blog about how to winterize your home. If you followed the tips listed in that blog, you should have been able to pinpoint pests’ favorite entry spots, seal up any cracks and holes, and keep pests out in the cold where they belong.
But to ensure pests don’t try to worm their way indoors, you should stay vigilant all season long. Make sure you take the following steps:
- Deal with leaky, wet areas as soon as you notice them. If an ice dam caused your roof to leak, repair the damage as soon as possible to prevent moist areas from becoming entry points for pests. Similarly, be on the lookout for dripping pipes, either in the walls or under sinks.
- Keep firewood away from your home. If you use a wood-burning stove, don’t pile the logs right next to the door or against the side of the house-and don’t store wood inside your house either. Pests from insects to rodents love to burrow in wood piles, which often become entry points to your home.
Additionally, cover your wood to keep it dry and make it less attractive to pests. If you worry about moisture seeping into the wood through the ground, set the wood on top of cinder blocks or in a firewood holder.
Finally, make sure to use all the wood in the pile before restocking it. Old, rotting wood that never moves can look like the ideal home to termites and rats.
Whether the groundhog sees his shadow or not, you can expect spring to arrive by April, and then it’s time for spring cleaning. Start as soon as the snow begins to thaw-the warmer weather won’t keep pests away for long. When you air out your house for the spring and repair any winter damage, don’t forget these important tips:
- Repair or replace old, broken, or ripped window screens.
- Deal with puddles of stagnant water as soon as you notice them. You could have a drainage problem that will only intensify as you move into summer.
- Deep-clean your greenhouse or sunroom. Scour the glass and clean all surfaces to eliminate any mold, dust, and dirt.
- Keep your gutters clear. Spring rainstorms and snowstorms can often wrench branches and leaves off of budding trees.
- Clean up dirt, dust, and clutter around the house that could attract pests.
You can also call your pest control company to assess your property, repair winter damage like cracks or holes that let in pests, and give you recommendations on how to safeguard your property during the upcoming year.
Over the summer, you should be on the alert for mosquitos, wasps, and hornets that could take up residence in your garden. If you have a wasp, hornet, or yellow jacket infestation, contact a professional to deal with the problem. You can minimize your yard’s attractiveness to these stinging pests by:
- Looking for growing nests and hives at the start of summer and then calling a pest control company to deal with them immediately
- Covering the food and drinks that you serve during outdoor barbecues and picnics
Mosquitoes are a little more difficult to get rid of, but you can deter them if you avoid any standing water, including in outdoor pet bowls or bird baths. Talk to your pest control company for more tips.
It’s never too early to start winterizing your home. Trim back tree limbs and shrubs that have grown during the spring and summer-you don’t want any tree branches hanging over your home to give pests easy access to the attic. Thoroughly clear the gutters of any debris, just like you did in the spring-clear your gutters every few weeks until the last of your trees’ leaves have fallen.
As discussed in our previous blogs, fall is also the perfect time to caulk holes, seal cracks, and install weather stripping around doors and windows.
If you’ve followed the steps in this blog, you’ll have gone a long way towards keeping pests out of your home for the entirety of 2016. Hopefully, by this time next year, you’ll have enjoyed a comfortable, pest-free home that keeps your family safe and keeps insects and rodents out.
If you have further questions about pest control, want to cope with an existing infestation, or want in-depth, customized suggestions about how to get rid of pests, get in touch with our company. Don’t forget to browse the rest of our blogs to get more tips about dealing with pets in 2016.