1. Plants and Mulch. Trim back any tree branches or shrubs that touch your home to eliminate pest “bridges” to the house. Mulch, wood chips and pine straw provide ideal shelter for pests, such as millipedes, ants, palmetto bugs and termites. Instead of using these in areas that touch your foundation, place less pest-attractive ground cover, such as rock or stone.
2. Doors and Windows. Because pests can wiggle through tiny cracks and gaps, inspect and repair any warped or broken doors and windows, and those that simply don't fit well; repair rips or tears in screens. Use screen meshes size of at least 200 holes per square inch; these are generally available at home stores.
3. Cracks and Gaps. Inspect the entire exterior of your home for other cracks, crevices, and gaps through which pests could enter. Check for foundation cracks, loose siding, missing roof shingles, and gaps around incoming utility lines, including pipes, electric and cable wiring. Seal any openings with copper mesh, coarse steel wool, sheet metal or mortar. Expanding caulk is not as good to use because many pests can chew through it.
4. Trash and Litter. Keep yards, patios, decks, and garages free of litter, weeds, and standing water. Ensure trash cans have tight-fitting lids and clean the cans and area regularly to remove debris and spills, on which pests can feed.
5. Lights. To reduce flying insects around doors and windows, replace standard mercury vapor lights with high-pressure sodium vapor or halogen lights. Bulbs that have pink, yellow or orange tints will be least attractive to the flying insects. Although it is common to place lights on exterior walls near doors, it is better to place the light farther away, using pole lights when possible, with the light shining toward the door for safety.
6. Interior Gaps. Some cracks and gaps will be visible only from inside your home. Check in, under and behind kitchen cabinets, refrigerators, and stoves, as well as between the floor and wall juncture and around pipes, floor and dryer vents. Seal any gaps found, especially those of 1/4 inch or greater.
7. Drains. Sink and floor drains often accumulate gunk and debris which can attract pests and provide an ideal breeding site, especially for small flies. Inspect and maintain all sink, tub, basement and laundry room floor drains and resolve using baking soda, apple cider vinegar or in some extreme cases, bleach.
8. Recycled Items. It is preferable to store recyclables outside and away from your home. If this is not possible, ensure that all containers are thoroughly rinsed and that the recycling bin has a tight-fitting lid. All recycling and trash containers should also be rodent proof and cleaned frequently.
9. Stored Foods. If opened bags and boxes cannot be completely closed, the food should be put into a re-sealable bag or plastic container to keep from attracting stored product or “pantry” pests that invade the kitchen. Use older foods first and clean out stale or uneaten foods to help keep attractants down.
10. Cleanliness. The cleaner your home, the less attraction it will have for pests, the less chance a pest will have to live and breed – and the less likely it will be that you would need to go on the defense and pull out a can of bug spray or call us!!