Spring is here. It’s the time when all things that hibernate in the winter, plants and animals alike, stretch out their proverbial arms and wake up — including pests. Fortunately, it’s also the time of the year to do some spring cleaning. While you roll up your sleeves and start decluttering your home space, take the time to include pest proofing on your to-do list.
Pests, like spiders, rodents, cockroaches, bats, and raccoons, are more than just a nuisance. They can affect your home by damaging possessions and posing various health risks to you, your family, and your pets. Your home is an attractive haven during the winter months, and many may be tempted to pass the winter there.
Rid your house of any uninvited guests and keep them from coming back with a few home remedies. Follow these tips while you do your spring cleaning so that you have a pest-free home the whole year round:
Remove sources of water
Water sustains life. Any creature determined to survive will first look for a reliable water source. By removing potential watering holes for pests, you make your home uninhabitable and, therefore, a less desirable space to live.
Place a dehumidifier in areas prone to moist, specifically in your basement. Basements are prone to accumulating moisture during the warmer months. By eliminating excess moisture, a dehumidifier can make the space less attractive to pests.
Investigate the pipes in your home, especially in the bathroom and kitchen. Because they provide ample amounts of moisture, pests like cockroaches and silverfish commonly thrive in these areas. Check under the sink, around the toilet, bathtub, and shower to locate leaks and repair them.
Inspect the area outside your home to check for and remove standing water from your lawn. Fix any drain or pipe blockage or leaks to keep water from pooling in your soil. Discard water from buckets, pots, and any other objects or structures that accumulate water and relocate them to areas where they will not collect moist. Standing water provides a breeding ground for mosquitoes and a watering hole for unwanted wildlife.
Eliminate food sources
Food can attract pests as much as water. Leaving food out in the open tells pests that your house is the place to go for a free buffet. This is problematic not only because it invites pests into your home but also because pests can contaminate food and turn them into health hazards unfit for consumption. Rescind the invitation by storing food in airtight containers.
Clean all surfaces to remove food crumbs and spills that can lure pests into the area. This includes the spaces behind and under appliances, like the refrigerator and stove.
Overhaul your kitchen stock. Clear out cabinets and pantry and take inventory of the items in them. Food, spices, and other goods that have long since expired or have been forgotten may linger in rarely-seen corners. Discard them to avoid luring pests into the area.
Clutter provides pests like rodents shelter and materials to build nests. Clear out the jumbles, especially in low-traffic areas in your home, like the attic or the basement. Though these areas are useful storage locations, they are also great hiding places and can conceal all manner of pests.
Bats, squirrels, and raccoons, especially, tend to overwinter in dark, warm attics. If you find rodents and other vermin, like bats and raccoons, have been hiding in the attic, do not attempt to remove them yourself. Prioritize safety above all else. Call a professional offering wildlife removal services to deal with the problem for you.
Discard any damaged items including broken equipment and furniture. For unused items that still have some shelf life and can withstand more use, you can hold a garage sale or donate them to charity. While you’re cleaning up, be sure to do a thorough inspection of the area to find and remove droppings, nests, and eggs.
You don’t necessarily have to declutter your home ala Marie Kondo and transition to a minimalist lifestyle. However, shaving off several redundant objects from storage will help you rid your home of pests and prevent them from returning.
Seal entry points
Pests can take advantage of the smallest holes to enter your home. Common entryways include:
- cracks in walls
- holes in screens
- holes around utility lines
- gaps along doors and windows
- HVAC ducts
Examine your home and seal any gaps or holes you see. Clean up ducts and vents to remove nests and eggs. Repair damaged walls and sidings. Apply caulk in small cracks and gaps around window frames. Use steel wool to block off larger holes, like those around pipes and utility lines, and reinforce with polyurethane foam. Put up a fine-mesh barrier to cover more sizeable openings, like chimneys, attic vents, and under porches.
Keep garbage covered
Garbage offers the promise of a meal for pests of all sizes, from flies to raccoons. Keep all your garbage cans, whether they’re inside your home or outside, lidded and sealed. If you haven’t already gotten one, get a raccoon-resistant bin. Don’t keep garbage, especially food discards, in plastic bags and leave them out in the open. These are easily penetrable and will not stop pests and other animals from having a banquet in your backyard.
Maintain your garden
Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be limited indoors. After you complete your list of chores inside, take to the outside parts of your home. To maximize your pest-proofing efforts, you have to cover all areas. If you have a garden, many places and objects can harbour pests, causing harm to plants and residents alike. In addition to keeping pests at bay, tidying up allows you to find and repair any damage caused by the winter months.
Mow your lawn regularly and get rid of lawn clippings as soon as possible to minimize hiding places. Uproot weeds and remove fallen leaves, branches, and any decaying vegetation, like rotting tree stumps. Trees can also serve as entry points to your home, so it’s necessary to prune branches that are too close to the house.
Stack firewood away from the house and garage. Wood can attract termites and wasps. Placing them near your home may encourage them to build their nests in areas too close for comfort.
Repair any damage to the roof. Holes can provide pests with an entryway, and rotting exteriors can serve as an invite. Check your gutters and downspouts for any clogs and remove blockages to prepare for the spring rains.
Patch up any damage to the foundations with cement or mortar and replace rotting wooden fixtures.
Adding pest-proofing measures to your spring cleaning tasks may seem like extra work, but it will help you keep your home as safe and as comfortable as possible. The lull of the winter season has dissipated, and pests are as active as ever. You have to face their readiness to take advantage of your home with matching zeal.
If pests or wildlife do manage to wander into your property, contact Liddle Rascals Wildlife Control. We provide humane wildlife removal and home prevention services to keep your home safe from nuisance wildlife. For a free onsite estimate, call us at (416) 356.5886 or contact us online.