Winter weather can be tough for us humans, with deep drifts, buried sidewalks and skidding cars. Those cold days also have a benefit, however, keeping most pests sleeping soundly as they wait for spring.
The insect alarm bell goes off when temperatures reach about 60 degrees Fahrenheit, awakening those groggy ants, bees, centipedes and spiders. They stumble out of their nests and holes in desperate search of food and mates. Mice, cockroaches, fleas and ticks also emerge in spring, eager to join the feeding frenzy when Mother Nature offers her organic buffet of fresh greens and flowers.
Pests don’t discriminate. They will line up outside hotels, restaurants and grocery stores as well as residential homes, commercial pest control experts warn. People have one big advantage, though. With an eye on the calendar, we can predict the coming season and take steps to prevent these hungry pests from moving into our homes and businesses.
Simple tips to keep pests outside
- To block insect population booms before they begin, take a walk around your property and note the location of any hives and nests. If you’re wary of evicting the stinging insects inside, call a local pest control company such as Abell, and pay a professional to handle those wasps and hornets.
- Continuing your walk around the building, keep a sharp eye out for any cracks and holes around windows and foundations. Even the smallest gap looks like an open door to a scouting ant seeking food for a hungry colony. So carefully seal cracks with caulk or wood putty, and plan to return to these trouble spots to repeat the treatment later in the season.
- Now pick up a pair of gardening clippers and a hand trowel and walk around the building once again. This time, the goal is to cut back any plants that are touching the house. From grass, to trees, to hedges, try to plow a plant-free zone around the building so curious insects won’t be tempted to stroll beyond their leafy homes and explore your shingles, sills and thresholds.
- The next step is to address that tumbled stack of firewood outside the back door. Move those cords of split wood to a site well away from the wooden structure where you live. Hungry termites and carpenter ants don’t distinguish between construction timber and fireplace logs.
- A final item on the outdoor pest-prevention checklist is to make sure that any garbage cans have tight-fitting lids and plastic liners. Sloppy sanitation can be a major draw for pests.