When To Start Springtime Pest Prevention?
Now! For those of us in the humid subtropical/continential climate zone, spring has already started to make a debut. But don't be fooled! With snowbells blooming, and then being buried in snow, it may be difficult to determine when spring will actually arrive. Some of us already hear birds chirping, or have caught an occasional cave cricket in the basement. So is spring coming soon? And when do we start to prep and prevent? As far as pest prevention is concerned, now may be a good time to start brushing up on tips and tricks to keep your home pest free, so that we are ready for combat.
Take this guy for example. The cave cricket can spend the winter as either immature or adult. And adults can reproduce in the spring under ideal conditions (like your basement). So how do we prevent cave crickets and other springtime pests from invading? A few simple preventative measures can make a huge difference.
DIY Tips for Pest Prevention
When we think about pest prevention, it's helpful to think like a pest. If I were a cricket, where would I want to live? If I were a termite, what materials would look delicous? Accounting for natural behaviors can give us a leg up on these pesty invaders, and can also serve as a vital part of Integrated Pest Management. Let's look at a few simple tasks that can go a long way....
Windows & Doors
Perhaps it's the warmth, or the yummy smells, or sounds of laughter, but pests love to try and get into your home. They can even walk trough the front door! Checking your doors and windows for holes or cracks can eliminate some entry points for these unwanted visitors. Is there a gap under your door that's not sealed? Feild mice can squeeze through spaces smaller than that. Weather striping and a door sweep can help keep them out.
Take a look around the outside of your structure, where the foundation meets the siding. If there are holes or cracks, they should be filled. Eliminating possible entry points is the first step in keeping pests out.
Leaves & Debris
Clear away piles of leaves and debris near your home, espcially right up against the foundation. These piles can be a magnet for breeding insects due to the dampness and darkness. Did you know that some mosquitoes need less than 1 teaspoon of water to lay eggs? And while they are breeding in piles of debris, they are noticing that tiny crack in the foundation that will give them access to your home.
Perhaps the creepiest of all creepy crawlers (or jumpers) are cave crickets. You know what they are, those wierd little spider looking things in the basement that jump at you. They are called cave crickets because they are typically found in, you guessed it, caves. Dark and damp, they are the preferrable habitats for these crickets. And what else is dark and damp? The basement. Though they occasionally travel to upper levels, they usually start out subterranean. This is why it's especially important to follow the steps above, eliminating entry points. If you have a washer/dryer in your basement, check where the vent meets the wall. The warmth of the machines makes your basement even more attractive to them. Also, reduce dampness by running a humidifier, and leave lights on occasionally to discourage them from jumping at you when you turn the lights on. They have very poor eyesight, and jumping is thier defense mechanism.
Some critters like to use tree branches to gain access inside, like spiders! Or even wildlife, like squirrels or raccoons. Tree branches make great bridges from trees to windows, or attics. Trimming back these branches and making the leap between a tree or bush, and your house, makes it harder for springtime pests to invade.
So there you have it, a few simple steps to help keep out pests in the springtime. If these measures are not effective enough, reach out to a pest management professional for further guidance. Miracle Pest Solutions offers integrated pest management solutions to eliminate pests and prevent further pest invasions.