Guest post by "Termite" Terry Singleton We are in the midst of summer and many homeowners are having problems with pests of all types. Insects and rodents can do a great deal of damage to a home and its contents. They can also be serious vectors of disease. No one wants to live in a home that is infested with these pests. But, here’s the big question;
How can these pests be controlled without compromising the safety of your family?
This may surprise you, but there are many ways in which you can control many of these pests without using pesticides. And, if you’re the type of person who likes doing your own work around the house, you’ll find that a lot of these items can be taken care of easily and at little or no costs to you. Here are ten tips to help keep your home pest free this summer: 1. Start by controlling moisture because water is like a magnet for insect and rodent problems. Check for plumbing leaks, roof leaks, leaky rain gutters, etc. Take a look at the ground around your home and make sure that you aren’t overwatering your lawn and plants. Check your sprinkler system and adjust it if needed. Insects and rodents need a lot of water so your home needs to stay as dry as possible. 2. Keep all plants and trees cut back away from your home. Trees need to be cut back at least 4 feet away from your home and none of the tree branches should be left hanging over your roof. This one simple step can really discourage pests from entering your home and can make a huge difference! 3. Remove plants that attract insects and rodents because of their fruit. You may also want to remove other plants that harbor honey-dew producing insects (e.g. fig trees, cherry laurel, bamboo, oleander). 4. Clean up leaf piles and debris from around your home. 5. Keep firewood off the ground and store it away from your home. Be sure to check it for pests before bringing it inside your home. 6. Seal up cracks and holes in your home’s exterior walls. This will eliminate harborage for many pests and help keep them out of your home. Installing weather stripping around doors is a good way to help keep pests out, too. 7. Check the screens on your doors and windows. Well maintained screens are really great for keeping out insects of all types. Look at the screens on your attic, garage and subarea vents, too. These vent screens are especially important for keeping birds, rodents and small animals out of your home. 8. Guard against pest invaders by checking incoming materials for “hitchhiking” bugs. A lot of pests can be brought in with luggage, laundry and groceries. Take a close look before you bring any flowers or plants into your home because you’ll often find insects living in them. 9. Ensure good ventilation in attics, garages and subareas. This will help to reduce many of your insect problems. This will also help to keep these areas dry and reduce mold and mildew problems. 10. Keep food and garbage in tightly fitting containers. This is especially important to do at night because that is when many pests are most active. Start with these ten steps first. If you still need to use a pest control product, you’ll usually find that you won’t need very much. In fact, you may even be shocked when you see how little pesticide is needed! Article reprinted with permission from Termite Terry Pest Control, Inc. For more information on pest control services visit their website at www.termiteterry.com or call (949) 631-7348.