First unwanted pest, Odorous Ants – While these are not a destructive pest, they are one of the most annoying and sometimes difficult to eradicate. Look for areas of unintended moisture. Repair roof and gutter leaks promptly. Check your plumbing for pipe leaks and review window and siding seams for cracks or broken seals. Always keep vegetation away from touching your siding. Also, good ventilation helps prevent excessive moisture buildup.
Second unwanted pest, Carpenter Ants – Unlike the odorous ant, carpenter ants can definitely cause a lot of damage. First, remove all dead wood lying around your property. Large dead branches, sickly trees, olds stumps within 300 feet should be removed. Regarding your home’s interior, check for moist, soft wood and check the crawlspace for unused wood chunks that may have been there since construction. Keep outdoor water spigots from leaking as exterior water too close to the foundation cause be an attraction. Ensure that nowhere on the structure does wood come into direct contact with the soil. Leave no wood stacked leaning against the house. Repair foundation cracks which can provide an easy access point. Finally, cut tree limbs away from roof and siding contact.
Third unwanted pest, Pavement Ants – The best preventative measures for these involve common sense. Always seal food tightly, preferable within snug fitted containers. Thoroughly cleaning food particles off of counters and floors helps greatly. Review your yard and consider relocating plants that they are particularly drawn to further away from the structure. Also, immediately kill scouts that you spot.
Fourth unwanted pest, Mice & Rats – First and foremost, look for and close off any open entry points around the perimeter of the building. Looks at door jambs, pipes that pass through walls, vents and even roof and eave gaps. Any pet that is fed outside needs to have it’s feeding area scanned for food scraps that need to be removed. Store food (if stocks are kept in garages or pantries), flower bulbs and household garbage in enclosed containers. Keep woodpiles away from the house and stack above ground level with clear space below it.
Fifth unwanted pest, Termites – The undisputed king of household pest damage. Within just a few short years, termites and cause major and expensive structural damage. Look for unintended moisture spots by checking for any needed interior leak repairs. Excess vegetation too close to the house again is a prime issue. If there is any standing water close to the house try to drain or divert it. Exposed, unprotected wood next to house should be raised as you never want untreated wood touching the ground. Remove buried wood, stumps and dead trees from the yard. Beware of garden mulch located too close to foundation. Foundation cracks should be sealed up. Review the crawlspace to ensure that there is good crawlspace ventilation.
Sixth unwanted pest, Wasps (bees, yellow-jackets) – Start with cleaning up grease and meats spills on decks and patios. Know their regular nest building spots at your home and knock or hose them down while still small and sparsely populated (note – never attempt this if you are or suspect you might be allergic to bees or if you notice even the slightest aggressive tendency of a bee/wasp. In such cases immediately call a professional pest service.) Consider relocating sugary bird feeders and composting sites away from home entrances. Seal small gaps found in the siding.
Seventh unwanted pest, Spiders – Once again, try to keep shrubbery away from touching the house. Seal up window and siding cracks which are easy entry points. Time spent de-cluttering dark, cramped areas of your building helps eliminate environments that they prefer. Dust away old webs (both spider and dust). If able, try to keep interior humidity low. Finally, keep their food source (other bugs) as low as possible.
Eighth unwanted pest, Fleas – Keep your pets constantly protected with regular treatments or collars. Sometimes houses with no pets still get fleas. In such cases, the fleas are coming from rodents/mammals in the yard (opossums, raccoons, etc.) Makes decks and similar areas inhospitable to wildlife nesting. Simple sanitation also helps (interiors – vacuum up old dander, pet fur, etc. regularly; exteriors – maintain healthy, well kept lawns and keep bark mulch away from foundation.)
Ninth unwanted pest, Moles – Reduce any excessive ground population of insects, grubs and worms. If there is not an abundant food source they won’t be attracted to your yard. Find the right balance on this aspect as you still want beneficial creatures and organisms such as worms, lady bugs, nematodes to be present in proper levels. If you have raised beds, try burying metal mesh at least two feet deep.
Tenth unwanted pest, Box Elder Bugs – Another non-destructive but highly annoying pest. Look to regular siding washing to help. Also make sure window and door screens are hole free.
Following these simple and easy steps can go a long way towards living in a pest free environment. If you find that they are not enough or are learning this information midstream in an infestation, always contact a licensed pest professional sooner rather than later. Quick action can often save you hundreds of dollars.