We’ve been dreaming all winter of the warm weather, blooming flowers and time spent outside without winter weather advisories. And fortunately, spring is finally here! As we spring forward, we cannot forget the pests that are springing up in search of food and moisture. Our spring pest predictor calls for Asian lady beetles, ants, cluster flies, spiders and those dreaded box elder bugs that are already active this season as they look to make their way outdoors. Termites are also beginning to swarm in some parts of southeastern Wisconsin, including predicted high levels of activity in Racine, Kenosha, Waukesha, New Berlin and Wauwatosa.
April is National Pest Management Month – AKA the perfect time to add spring pest-proofing to your home improvement to-do list! We’ve compiled a list of valuable tips that will provide you with ways to reduce moisture, minimize access to food, and most importantly, prevent a pest infestation. Check these off your list to enjoy a pest-free spring!
Yard cleanup/reduce moisture:
- Remove debris: cleanup leaves, twigs, fallen fruit and other debris around your home to avoid offering pests a hiding place.
- Keep tree branches and shrubbery well-trimmed: secure at least 15 inches from the foundation of your home to avoid providing pests with a superhighway.
- Avoid placing mulch too close to the perimeter of your home.
- Clean the gutters: Make sure gutters are running clean water so debris is not collecting and attracting pests.
- Reduce moisture: Empty flower pot dishes, bird baths, pet water dishes and other artificial containers which collect water at least once a week to disrupt potential mosquito breeding as the weather gets warmer.
- Inspect the roof and chimney: Safely check your roof and chimney for holes or cracks that may have developed over the winter.
- Seal any cracks, holes or gaps: Examine the interior and exterior of your home for any openings, especially around air conditioning units, windows or doors. Fill with caulk, copper wool or hardware mesh.
- Replace any door sweeps that do not connect with the ground and check window screens for splits or holes.
Tidy up inside:
- Eliminate clutter, such as boxes or piles of clothes where pests may be hiding.
- Make sure your basement, attic or crawl spaces are well ventilated and dry.
- Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
- Wipe away spills and crumbs. Insects such as ants, roaches, Indian meal moths or other pantry pests can live and breed on just a small amount of spilled material. Deep clean cupboards now!
Follow these tips to be one step ahead of the pests this spring! With a clean, pest-free home, you can enjoy a safe and healthy environment from spring into summer.
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