For over 30 years, The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) has celebrated April as National Pest Management Month to raise awareness of the issues that pests create in our homes. Not only do they chew through wiring, which causes a fire hazard, and chew holes in your walls, but their waste is a health hazard. Some pests may spread Lyme disease and West Nile virus, among other illnesses.
During April, give your home a good inspection to look for signs of pest infestation. If you do see signs, chances are the pests have been in your home for some time. A professional, such as Clint Miller Exterminating, will help you with a good pest management schedule or termite control.
To check for mice, look for their droppings and holes chewed in dark, out of the way spaces. Check under sinks where the pipes come in, in the corners of closets and behind furniture. Check your pantry for mice droppings or holes chewed in packages of food. Even if you put food in plastic containers, check those for teeth marks.
For roaches and other bugs, check for droppings under counters and in cabinets. Do a “surprise” inspection – roaches and other pests are nocturnal. Turn on the light in the middle of the night to see if you see or hear any scurrying on the floor or counter tops.
To locate a termite infestation, look for little piles of sawdust along windowsills, in closets, and outside on the ground if you have a frame house with wood siding. If your home features a crawl space, crawl under the house and check the floor joists and the beams at the exterior walls of the house. Look for the burrows that termites make in the wood, not just the bugs themselves.
Other pests include carpenter ants, mosquitoes, fleas, stinging insects and ticks. Most of the time, they will be outside, but could easily get inside, especially if you have pets.
Pests are going to get in if they want to get in. Make it harder for them to set up house inside your home by following these steps:
Check the foundation of the house for cracks and other openings. Seal those openings.
Keep plants away from the house. They act like a superhighway for termites and other pests. The pests climb the branches to get to your house.
Get rid of any standing water. If you have bird baths, be sure to change the water at least every other day. If you have a pond that doesn't have a stream flowing in and out of it, use an aerator or fountain to keep the water moving.
Remove anything that holds moisture, especially if it is close to your house.
Don't leave pet dishes out, inside or outside. Clean the dishes every day.
Make sure all trash cans are clean and sealed at all times. The lid for outdoor trash bins should snap closed.
Check screens for holes and tears. Replace those screens. If your home doesn't have screens, have the screens installed on all windows and doors, even if you don't open the windows. The screens give you another layer that bugs have to get through before they can get into your house.
Inside, keep the kitchen counters wiped down. Empty inside garbage frequently.
Be sure all food containers are sealed. Don't leave food in its original packaging if it comes in cardboard or bags. Transfer it into airtight plastic containers.
When you take these steps, plus hire a professional to spray your home, you will be able to keep most of the pests out most of the time.
Contact Clint Miller Exterminating for preventative spraying or to help you eradicate an infestation of pests, whether mice, cockroaches or other annoying critters.