Integrated Pest Management
16 Ways to Prevent Pest Infestation:
- Keep bird feeders away from the house. The seeds attract rodents.
- Use mulch that has been treated for termites if you can find it. If not, select pine bark mulch. The bark has lignin in it that discourages termites. Keep it at least a foot away from the house walls.
- Remove any old or discarded pieces of wood from under your house, deck, or in any crawl spaces.
- Store your firewood away from the house, not against it.
- Keep shrubs or bushes trimmed and away from the edges of your house. That removes shelter for insects and allows air flow, preventing moisture problems that may attract pests.
- Clean up pet droppings in your yard. They attract flies and other nasty pests.
- Install screens on floor drains, windows, heating and air conditioning vents to keep flying pests from getting into the house.
- Use weather stripping around doors and windows to seal away access.
- Keep food stored in containers that are sealed, particularly sugar. Pet food left in the garage area unsealed also attracts mice or other pests.
- Dry any wet or moist areas around or in the house, i.e., condensate lines from the air conditioner, plumbing in the kitchen or bathrooms, or at the hose faucets around the house.
- Clean up! Neatness removes sites where insects can hide and/or find food.
- Periodically clean the nooks and crannies in the house; around baseboards, in corners, the tops of cabinets, closets, etc. with a cleaner that has a disinfectant or bleach component to it. Caulk cracks or openings where you can.
- Caulk and seal any openings in the walls of the house.
- Check your attic for openings where squirrels, bats, or other pests may find a way in. Trim branches from trees that touch or overhang your house.
- Avoid storing newspapers, paper bags, or boxes for long periods of time. They are food and shelter for many pests.
- Improve ventilation in crawl spaces to reduce moisture.
- Maintain landscaped areas a few feet away from the foundation fo the structure.
- Keep firewood stacked away from the structure.
- Keep crawl spaces and basements clear of wood debris and exess moisture.
- Fix faulty drainage and any plumbing or roof leaks that cause moisture to accumulate.
- Routinely Check in and around the structure for mud tubes, discarded termite wings and general signs of termite activity.
- If adding a room or deck to a structure, make sure the wood used has been treated to discourage termites.