Day 4: Clean!

Today is Thursday, and that means it is time to clean your home — not the deep cleaning you instantly dread, but putting away and throwing away clutter.

Pests need three things to survive: food, water, and a place to live. If you can control access to food around the home and eliminate standing water, all you need to do is focus on eliminating pest’s places to hide.  Pests love the areas of your home and yard that you rarely visit or think about. That means the dark corner of the basement where the old Christmas decorations are stored, the spot in the attic that hasn’t seen daylight or had fresh air in years, under the kitchen sink, behind the refrigerator or in the tool shed. Cleaning up the clutter in and around your home is integral to solving pest problems, protecting you and your family from the adverse health effects pests can have, and protecting your home’s value from the physical damage they can cause.

Some common indoor clutter problems are:

  • Half-eaten meals – Many kids, and even adults, have a habit of leaving crumbs behind when preparing and eating meals. Pests look at those crumbs as a feast and will come back for more if they find one good meal.  One nugget of dog kibble under the refrigerator can be a banquet for pests.
  • Plates in the bedroom – Once children and teens realize they can bring plates and snacks to their bedrooms, they’ll never want to eat in the kitchen again. It’s important to talk to them about how bringing food to their room can also invite pests.

Some common outside clutter problems are:

  • Piled-up trash and recycling – You know that pile of recycling and castoffs in your garage or shed that you keep adding to? Well, that pile could become a mansion for mice and other rodents.
  • Garden tools – Do you keep your lawn mower, yard rake, and other tools stacked up against the side of the house? Cleaning up that clutter can not only eliminate a pest’s highway into your home but also a place for them to hide.

Watch Janet’s video of the day for more tips on cleaning your home.

If you’ve missed any of the earlier steps in this week’s guide to inspecting and protecting your home, view the previous blogs and watch some of Janet Hurley’s videos describing where you can look around your home and yard for pest problems.

Categories: Gardening Health Pest Management Plant Care Uncategorized
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