As the weather slowly warms up for spring here in Utah, residents are going to have more time to clean. But rodents and wasps and spiders (oh my!) are going to be breeding, too. So, in your spring cleaning, include ways to prevent pests from spreading. Here are 10 ways to avoid pests through cleaning.
1. CLEAR THE CLOSETS
Do you store items in your closets? Take them out, put them in an open area, and check each one for signs of insect damage. Before you put them back, dust, sweep, and disinfect the shelves and floor of the closet. Also, vacuum for spider webs.
2. GIVE SOME TLC TO YOUR ATTIC AND BASEMENT
When was the last time you really inspected your basement or attic? Most people neglect these spaces, letting possible insect or rodent problems grow. Check for any items you don’t absolutely need, especially in corners that you never get to through the clutter. Donate or throw away what you can. Get to the wall of the attic or basement and wipe up the dust. Check the whole room and stored items for insect or rodent damage.
3. A MINI RENOVATION FOR THE GARAGE
Your garage isn’t quite an indoor space and isn’t quite an outdoor space. But it’s a great space for pests, if you allow it to be. Put in shelves so that stored boxes and tools don’t touch the floor. Sweep the floor thoroughly and regularly. Find and fix any water leaks in plumbing, walls, or ceiling. Seal the bottom of the garage door properly. Finally, keep the interior door to your house screened or totally closed whenever the garage door is open.
4. CONTROL BATHROOM MOISTURE
Insects and spiders love bathrooms, even entering through drains sometimes. Occasionally, you should pour bleach down your sink and bathtub drains to discourage them. Check that water isn’t pooling behind the toilet, next to the bathtub, or anywhere else and wipe down all surfaces.
5. KEEP PESTS OUT OF THE KITCHEN
Excess food particles in your kitchen attract pests. Take everything out of the fridge, pantry, and cabinets, including your dishes. Get rid of empty boxes, dishes you never use, and expired food. While drawers and cabinets are empty, wipe them out with kitchen cleaner or bleach water. Sweep and mop the floor. Seal all the old food in a garbage bag and get it out of your house.
6. BEAUTIFY THE BED
Pull any clutter out from under your bed and check damage that could indicate hidden pests. Inspect your pillows, bedding, box spring, and mattress for bed bugs. You can do this with your living room chairs, couches, and coffee table, too.
7. DON’T ALLOW STANDING WATER
As much as possible, prevent mosquitoes from breeding in standing water, which happens as the weather warms. Dump water out of flower pots, swings, and other items around your house.
8. TRIM THE SHRUBS AND TREES
Trim back branches and bushes that touch your house. Rodents and insects can use them to enter the house. Also, check if any mulch or rotted stumps are touching your walls or foundation and remove them if they are. They can channel termites into your home.
9. LOOK UNDER THE LEAVES
Some fallen leaves might have escaped your notice at the end of last year. Spiders and ants especially tend to nest under them, so check every inch of you grounds and get rid of them. By the way, leaves might be clogging your gutters and downspouts, so clean out those gutters before more spring showers.
10. REPAIR CRACKS AND RIPS
It’s important to seal up any cracks in the foundation of your home with caulk or another sealer. Repair loose mortar. Window and door screens are also a prime entry point for pests. If any have developed holes, the best thing to do is replace the screen, although repair is possible.
These tips can prevent most pest problems from developing, but if you find that there’s already a problem, calling a professional pest control service for a free inspection. It’s your first step towards peace of mind and safety.