Nothing ruins a picnic like a line of ants. Nothing ruins a barbecue like a swarm of mosquitoes. And nothing ruins a morning like spotting a spider, cockroach, or mouse somewhere in your house.
Keep bugs and critters away from your home and yard this summer with these 10 best pest control practices.
1. Block Their Entry to Your Home
Your first line of defense is to make it difficult for pests to even find an entry to your home. Check all your screens for holes, and repair if you find any. Check around your doors and windows for gaps, and replace window stripping when needed.
2. Clean Your Kitchen
A pile of crumbs on your counter or floor is like a treasure chest to ants and other insects. Let them find treasure elsewhere - outside and far away from your home - by making sure you offer no treasure to be found in your own kitchen. Wipe your counters, sweep your floors, put food away immediately, and take out the trash regularly.
3. Get Rid of Standing Water
Getting rid of standing water is the first step to control mosquitoes. Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, and a big, fat invitation for mosquitoes to start a family. It's easy to miss standing water sometimes, so regularly walk your property to check for it. Look in rain spouts, check for leaks near your air conditioning unit, and pick up toys left scattered throughout the yard.
4. Maintain Your Yard
Keep your landscaping maintained to avoid overgrowth that is perfect for pests and their nests. Trim bushes and trees that are near the house, rake up debris, and yes - you're also going to have to weed.
5. Eat Your Fruits and Veggies
Don't let fruits and veggies get overly ripe on your counter. If you do, the fruit flies will invite themselves in for a spell and eliminating fruit flies is a headache you don't want.
6. Store Your Firewood Properly
Don't give termites free access to your home. If you store firewood, keep it away from your house or shed. As far away as possible, actually. Five feet should be the minimum distance, but if you can store it even farther away, you'll be in better shape. Also, store it in racks above the ground.
7. Don't Throw Meat Outside Too Soon
Try not to throw meat scraps in your outside garbage unless the garbage will be picked up in the next 48 hours or so. The combination of rotting meat and summer sun could bring unwanted pests to your yard alarmingly fast.
8. Inspect Swings and Outdoor Furniture
Regularly check the chains and corners of your swing sets and outdoor furniture for spider webs and egg sacks. Remove them when you see them.
9. Don't Bring the Outside In
Keep outside toys outside and inside toys inside. If you have to bring in a toy, chair, or table, thoroughly wipe it down first.
10. Use a Pest Control Service
Hire a local pest control service to come to your home and regularly spray for bugs and rodents common to your area. "As pest control experts, we can take inventory of your issues and create a personalized plan to keep pests away", says Jason Revill with Spott Pest Prevention in Austin, TX. "A professional pest control company can provide more protection than you can on your own, and the peace of mind you'll receive knowing you have an expert protecting your home is immeasurable", says Revill.
While there are a lot of things you can do to try and prevent pests around your home, sometimes you just need to bring in the pros. Whether you choose to do it all on your own or hire a professional pest control service, though, keep these tips in mind to take control of your yard again and have a more pest-free summer!