Summer is the season for some of the best yearly activities, like barbecues, picnics, swimming, and outdoor sports. People tend to pack the season full of vacations and activities. However, people aren't the only ones that are more active during the summer. Unfortunately, heightened activity begins for pests like ants, flies, roaches, wasps, and rodents between April and June.
And those pesky pests stay active all summer long! Pests can be a danger to your property and to your family. And not to mention…they're gross! So if you'd like to prevent pests from enjoying their summer on your property, here are three summer pest control tips.
1. Don’t ring the dinner bell!
One of the biggest mistakes people commonly make is unintentionally inviting pests into their homes. Keeping a home meticulously clean can be quite the challenge, especially when you add children into the mix! However, your home doesn't need to be perfect to avoid pests. Even doing the bare minimum of cleaning up messes and regularly emptying the trash is still an effective way not to draw the pests in.
Keep your kitchen and home clear of food mess.
Pests are remarkably effective at searching out and finding food. Don't make it easy for them to find food in your home! When some pests (like ants) find food, they leave an invisible pheromone trail behind them. All it takes is a couple of ants to follow the trail, and before you know it, you have a full-on invasion.
To prevent pests from being drawn into your home, follow these simple tips:
- Keep counters and floors swept clean of food crumbs.
- To avoid flies, don’t leave out any overripe fruits or veggies.
- Keep pet food in a sealed container, and don't leave the pet dishes out for long.
- Keep food like cereal or bread in sealed containers.
- All the same goes for outside as well, don’t leave any food or crumbs out.
Take out the garbage regularly.
The garbage can in your kitchen and your garage can both be big temptations that draw pests in. The same smell that makes us pinch our noses shut smells like a feast for most pests. Even your recycling bin is a draw for them. The sugary wet residues left in recycling bins are treats for ants and other insects.
To avoid your garbage sounding off like a dinner bell for pests, follow these simple tips:
- Rinse out cans (especially soda) before putting them in the recycling bins.
- Wait till garbage day to add meat to the bin, don't leave meat rotting in the garbage for days.
- Take the trash out regularly, and don't miss garbage day!
2. Protect your fortress!
Your home is your castle, and when it comes to pests in summertime…your home needs to be protected like a fortress! Pests will take any opportunity to slip into your houses like a thief in the night. Pests like ants can make it through even the tiniest of openings in your home. The best way to fortify your home against insects and other pests is to be thorough.
Don’t make it easy for pests to enter your home.
To thoroughly prevent pests from invading your home, you'll need to do a visual inspection around your home. Start with your windows. Check the windows in your home to ensure that all of the screens are correctly fitted and sealed. Be sure to fix any holes or misalignments.
It is also a great idea to annually check the weather-stripping around your windows. The stripping can deteriorate over time due to age, weather, and many other factors. If you notice your stripping looks worn out – replace it! Lack of weather stripping on windows can be an easy access point for pests to enter through.
After inspecting your windows, you should check the next most common pest entry point, entryways like doors. Check all around your doors for gaps, and that includes any sliding doors. If you find any gaps, seal them up.
After entryways, you should move on to checking the exterior of your home. Visually inspect the walls, foundation, and eaves as best you can. If you notice any loose mortar, cracks, or small openings, repair them to avoid pests using them for access to your home.
Before you can sit back and call your home check-up complete, take a look in any crawl spaces, attics, or basements. Mainly what you're looking for in these areas is any sign of pests or any excess moisture. The spaces in your home that lack air conditioning are best kept dry. Any sources of dampness could draw a variety of pests in.
3. Take care of your great outdoors!
Naturally, pests start on the outside of homes before they decide to move inside. Therefore, it is crucial to make your outdoor space acts as your first line of defense and NOT as a welcome mat. To avoid your lawn drawing pest in, be sure to address all of the common yard concerns listed below.
Remove any areas of standing water.
Mosquitoes are absolutely one of the worst (and definitely most hated) summer pests to be wary of. Not only do mosquitoes leave itchy bites on people, but they can do a whole lot worse.
It may shock you to learn that mosquitoes are considered one of the deadliest animals in the world.
These pests can carry potentially deadly diseases like West Nile Virus and Zika. Unfortunately, these diseases have no cure, so the best way to stay safe is to prevent mosquitoes from invading your property.
Mosquitoes will breed and lay eggs in even the smallest amounts of standing water. It only takes seven days in stagnant water for mosquitoes to hatch. Check around your yard for any places that water could pool. Empty out and change the water in birdbaths or plastic pools every couple of days. Have fountains treated with "mosquito dunks." Check yard toys, other yard items, plant pots, gutters, and downspouts for small pools of water.
Look around the ground to see if any puddles are sticking around. If you find any sources of stagnant water, quickly remove them. Be sure to cover all your bases to protect you and your family from mosquitoes.
Want to learn more about mosquito control? We have a great article on the most common questions that we get asked about mosquito control in Dallas?
Keep up with your landscaping.
Keeping a clean, trim, healthy yard is an excellent way to keep pests at bay. Maintain a healthy, pest-free lawn by keeping your grass mown and raked. A wide variety of pests such as fire ants, wasps, mosquitoes, and spiders will also happily made a nest in overgrown bushes and plants. It is imperative to keep plants, trees, and shrubbery trimmed, especially close to your home.
It is also best to keep plants away from the base of your home entirely, if possible. Overgrown plants along your house basically mean you could have breeding nests of pests right alongside your home.
Check the exterior of your home for any nests.
As stated above, it is crucial to inspect any overgrown plants, trees, and bushes for potential pest nests. However, before spending time in your yard, you should also check for nests along the exterior façade of your home and your outdoor furniture. Look out for wasp nests, spider webs, and egg sacks. But no matter what you find, it is always safer and more effective to have the problem area professionally treated.
Another common (and commonly problematic) yard feature is firewood. Many a pest would gladly make its home in a pile of wood. To avoid your firewood attracting termites, spiders, and ants, keep it elevated on a rack or shelf. Wood should also be kept at least 15 feet away from your home.
Protect yourself while you’re outside.
Before you start your summer fun in the sun, always apply insect repellant. Taking this safety precaution only takes a few seconds, and it can spare you from days of itchy insect bites.
Whether you're in your own yard, at the park, or sitting on a picnic bench, you should always be aware of your surroundings. Pests are very active in the summer, and you're always better off safe than sorry. Look around for any nests, anthills, webs, or other signs of insects.
It is always best to have your property professionally treated.
Even if you have done everything right to prevent pests from entering your home, they sometimes manage to find a way in any way. We can't control everything after all! The best, sure-fire way to keep pests away from your home is to have your property professionally treated. Hiring pest control professionals will give you better protection and the glorious peace of mind that comes along with it.
Not sure how much that will cost? We have an quick article on the cost of pest control services that will help answer that question.
Our pest control experts at Gecko Green can fortify your home with our complete Preventative Pest Control Program. Gecko Green will secure both the inside and outside of your home, and our expert services are guaranteed.
Get the peace of mind that you deserve this summer and call Gecko Green today!