Top 10 Pest Control Tips
All pest animals and insects have three things in common; they must have food, water and harborage. If you can take away one or more of these, you can “stress” the pest and force it to move. Sometimes, due to the natural environment this is not possible, but you can still do things to discourage pest activities. Familiarize yourself with the more obvious signs of pests and do the following:
Inspect your roof for leaks and make sure that all your gutters and downspouts are in good working order and that splash blocks and pipes divert water several feet away from your foundation.
Prune all your trees back at least several feet from your roofline and trim bushes one foot from your exterior walls, porches, garage, carports, outbuildings, etc. “Shape” your bushes at the bottom to allow air circulation around your home or business adjacent to your foundation.
Make sure that there is no standing water collecting in or adjacent to your crawlspace/foundation. Often a crawlspace is lower than the surrounding exterior grade and it acts as a sump allowing water seep in. Correct the exterior drainage or install a French drain and pump on the inside if necessary.
Make sure your foundation vents are secure and operating correctly for ventilation. If your ground is naturally damp in your crawlspace install a plastic vapor barrier to reduce airborne moisture. Make sure your crawlspace door and all other doors and windows are “tight”.
Do not stack or store firewood, building materials and other items against your foundation. This will provide food for wood destroying insects, capture water and provide harborage for all types of pests. Seal obvious construction and utility gaps in your foundation.
Don’t allow standing water to buildup in unused pots, containers, boxes, etc., take old tires to the dump.
Secure and latch all your garbage containers and store them several feet away from your home or business. Make sure that you have your garbage removed from your home and outside containers regularly.
Clean any food debris from your food preparation and eating areas as soon as possible. Rinse and clean dishes, pots and pans, etc. daily. Store your food properly in original containers, plastic containers, refrigerator, etc.
Do not leave pet food exposed on the outside continually. “Train” your outside animals to eat once or twice a day at certain times, then remove the food and store it in a hard plastic or metal tamperproof container. If inside pests (ants, mice, other insects) are attacking pet food inside, follow the same procedure. If you are feeding wild birds and squirrels in feeders on the outside and other animals become pests; remove the feeders for a few weeks so these unwanted pests will move on.
Contact a professional pest control technician who has ongoing state certifications in pest, termite and wildlife control to perform a thorough inspection and make recommendations for you. Check their resume – how long has your service person been on the job? What certifications and licenses do they personally have? Ask for references from clients with similar problems. Check with the Better Business Bureau and consumer rating services like Angie’s List. Do they have the proper business licenses and are they insured? What type of warranties do they offer? How long have they been in business? Are they locally owned and operated? Are the office and in field staff courteous, friendly, responsive and knowledgeable? Do they come when promised? And finally, did they solve your problem?