Wil-Kil Pest Control’s Pest of the Month
By Shane McCoy, Wil-Kil Pest Control
Menomonee Falls Patch
If you’re like me, you can’t wait for warmer weather and a final goodbye to all this snow! Well, good news, spring is almost here. Aside from warmer temperatures and outdoor activities, spring is a popular time to do a thorough spring cleaning. It is also important to spring clean to help prevent pest problems from ever occurring in the first place so you can enjoy a pest-free summer.
After this stormy winter with consistent cool weather, warmth and moisture-seeking pests will become more active and visible across the upper Midwest. On that note, I’d like to offer you some spring cleaning tips for pest control to promote a healthy and safe home. These ideas will help prevent pest infestation throughout the spring and summer.
Yard Cleanup– Starting outside and moving in is a good way to begin. Dark moist spots can harbor all sorts of bugs. Insects congregate around dead plants, weeds and fallen branches which need to be picked or raked up. Trim all overgrown bushes, shrubs, and excess foliage. Pick up any unnecessary containers around your yard that could become sources of standing water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in this type of water or in just about any undisturbed water source they can find. After it rains, take a walk around the yard and see where water is collecting. Everything from bird baths and barrels to standing water in gutters can provide insects a place to breed.
Gutters may also be a breeding source for mosquitoes and other moisture loving insects. Practice proper gutter maintenance and moisture control to prevent these critters from developing in your gutters. Also, pests absolutely love mulch because it’s warm, moist, and comfy. If you placed the mulch too close to the perimeter of your home, the risk of an infestation greatly increases. The thicker the mulch layer, the more the conditions favor pests.
Entry Points- While cleaning, check your home for general house degradation that could lead to a pest infestation. Look for cracks in the foundation, rotting wood, mold growth and excess moisture. Seal any cracks you find to stop pests from coming in your home in the first place. Install screens on your windows and doors and make sure they are not torn or damaged. This way, you can enjoy the nice, fresh air without letting in flying insects. Another entry point that is often overlooked is under doors. Missing door sweeps or damaged thresholds will allow insects and mice to enter your home. Chances are, if you can see light under the door, a mouse can squeeze through it.
Cupboards– Do you have spills, crumbs or any outdated food in your cupboards? Insects such as ants, roaches, Indian meal moths or other pantry pests can live and breed on just a small amount of spilled material. Now is the time to remove everything from the shelves, perform a good vacuum and clean cupboards with a general cleaner such as Formula 409. Additionally, if you keep plastic or paper grocery bags in the pantry it’s best to throw those away or recycle them as these are great harborages for many kinds of pests.
Clear Out Nooks and Crannies– If you’re like me, you’ve shoved old shoe boxes or other items in your closets that you’ve been meaning to get rid of. Now is the time to get rid of old boxes and containers where pests can hide. It will also clear space so you can clean all the corners and nooks of your home that often host spiders and other pests.
Spring cleaning may not be the most enjoyable project, but it reduces clutter from your home and allows you to enjoy the warm weather that is quickly approaching. Remember, pests need food, water and shelter. Let’s deny them access to these in our homes before they bug you.
Shane McCoy is an Associate Certified Entomologist with 17 years of experience in Pest Management and is the Technical Training Director for Wil-Kil Pest Control servicing the Upper Midwest. To learn more about Wil-Kil, visit http://www.wil-kil.com/ or contact your local office at 800-236-8735. Follow Wil-Kil on Facebook and Twitter (@WilKilPest).