With the holiday festivities behind us, and the cold weather keeping you trapped inside, now is a great time to take a few precautions that will help keep your home pest free in 2014. Here are some helpful home improvement tips to start the year off right:
1. Get Rid of the Clutter: Don’t wait until spring to clean out your home. Start getting rid of unnecessary boxes, clothes and other items as these extra piles can provide harborage for mice, cockroaches and other pests during the cold winter months.
2. Clean Up the Kitchen: Be sure to clean, sweep and scrub behind and under stoves, refrigerators and other kitchen appliances. Eliminating crumbs and other food residue will help avoid attracting pests and rodents that are looking for a snack.
3. Check the Exterior: Just as you stay inside during the cold winter months, mice and other pests are looking for refuge from the frigid temperatures too. On a mild day, double check that you have sealed all the cracks and crevices outside your home and fix any broken screens that could serve as an entry for unwanted pests.
4. Trim the Trees: Pay special attention to trees and bushes that are located close to your home. Cut back any branches that could serve as a bridge onto your rooftop. Piles of wood can serve as a good nesting spot for small rodents and bugs. Keep tree branches, and any other wood, at least 20 feet away from your home and at least five feet off of the ground to help avoid infestations.
5. Tidy Up: Dusting, sweeping and vacuuming on a regular basis will not only help keep your home looking nice and neat, but will also get rid of unwanted spider webs, spider egg sacs and carpet beetles that could be living in your home.
6. Seal Boxes Tightly: Holiday decorations and old clothes form warm and cozy nesting places for unwanted pests and critters. When packing things away for the season, always use tightly sealed plastic containers rather than cardboard boxes.
7. Empty Out the Pantry: Storing old, already opened food in your pantry can attract the wrong kind of crowd. Get rid of any opened products that you don’t plan on eating and use tightly sealed plastic containers for items you wish to keep.
8. Look for Signs: Inspect your wires, screens and insulation for gnaw marks as these could be signs of an infestation in your home. If you see animal droppings, hear sounds of scurrying in the walls or suspect that you have an infestation of any kind, call a pest control service provider right away.
Follow these eight easy tips to help keep your home pest free in 2014. As you can see, it’s all about the little things. They really do make a big difference.
Do you have any tips to share? I welcome your comments and feedback!
About Shane McCoy:
Shane McCoy is the Technical Training Director for Wil-Kil Pest Control, a regional pest management company providing quality pest management for residential and commercial properties throughout the Upper Midwest. As an Associate Certified Entomologist with over 18 years of experience in pest management, Shane’s blog provides expert tips and tricks, timely information and solutions for coexisting with the insect life and critters around us. To learn more about Wil-Kil Pest Control, please visit www.wil-kil.com. You can also follow the company on Facebook and Twitter (@WilKilPest).