Summertime is meant for enjoying the outdoors, cookouts, entertaining and time spent with family and friends. However, no one wants to share their summer with pests such as ants, mosquitoes, snakes, rodents, bees, bats or raccoons. Homeowners often inadvertently invite these pests to be a part of their summer activities with some common oversights that can be quickly alleviated.
“If homeowners take a walk around the perimeter of their house, they can often find free or cheap ways to avoid inviting pests inside,” says Clay Cochran, Northwest Exterminating Business Development Executive M/A. “Many people don’t think about it, but something as simple as cutting a branch that touches a third-floor wall will cut an access point for ants to enter your home.”
Cochran continues with some simple fixes homeowners can do to help alleviate summer pests. “Remove standing water to keep mosquitoes away,” says Cochran, “birdbaths, kids’ toys, bottoms of plants...these can be breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and even a bottle cap of water can allow mosquitoes to breed in the thousands. Also, keep your grass short, trim bushes, clear piles of wood and debris, and seal cracks and gaps around your home to deter snakes and pests.”
“Food is a big motivator in attracting pests and wildlife,” says Cochran. To keep pests and wildlife out of your home and yard, here are some other suggestions:
-Use tightly-sealed and secured trash cans
-Double bag any meats you put into the trashcan
-Store pet food in sealed containers and bring your pets’ food and water bowls inside nightly
-Pick up any fallen birdseed around your home and yard
-Keep your counters clean, floors swept and throw away overripened fruits and vegetables
-Keep fruit off the ground if you have fruit trees
-Keep dishes clean
-Don’t let garbage pile up
Finally, don’t wait until you have an infestation to seek professional help. Regular quarterly maintenance by a professional pest control company can save huge headaches and costs later by establishing an exterior boundary so they will not have to spray chemicals as often inside the home. Professionals will know how pest cycles change seasonally and will adjust the treatments to use for your home accordingly.
For a list of professionals in our area to help with your summer home needs, visit the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga’s member directory at www.HBAGC.net.