In honor of National Inspect and Protect Week (Oct 1 – 5), we’re sharing great tips and stories (and from our archives!) that align with the easy-to-remember mantra, INSPECT (INvestigate, Study, Prepare, Eliminate, Clean and Treat).
Fall is the time to inspect current conditions of your home and prepare for the winter — and prevent rodents or invasive insects from taking up residence in your abode. Read below to learn more about the first step, “INvestigate.”
Start off by investigating the perimeter of your home. Pests naturally migrate to water and standing water in bird baths, garbage bucks, gutter lines, and wheel barrows so they often serve as popular breeding grounds for insects like mosquitoes. It is important to remove all standing water from around the home.
Plants and shrubbery directly in contact with your home provide easy access and direct routes for ants and other small pests. It is smart to leave about 18 inches between the trellis and the exterior of your home to avoid these problems.
While inspecting, you may think your home is closed up tight, but it is important to realize that most pests, such as ants, spiders, and roaches only need crawlspace about one quarter of an inch to enter homes. The untrained eye often overlooks these entrances, but carefully searching for small holes in screens, window seals, and in the structure of your home might help you prevent invaders from wiggling their way inside.
Once inside your home, these pests will be on the hunt for food and water. It may seem simple, but keeping your kitchen clean and crumb-free is a good pest prevention technique. Sweeping and dusting routinely will prevent pests from being attracted to any crumbs that may have fallen. If there isn’t a source of food or water in your home, these creepy crawlers cannot survive.
Investigating your home is the most important thing you can do to protect it from unwanted pests and surprises. Using tools such as Housepests Uncovered and following a detailed checklist will teach you where to look for pests and save you time, money and a lot of hassle. You also can view extension specialist Janet Hurley’s video for tips on how to INvestigate your home.