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April 10, 2017

April showers often bring more than just May flowers… Beyond blooming flowers, sunny skies, and the much-anticipated warm weather, another tell-tale sign that spring has sprung is the emergence of common springtime pests and wildlife. From ants, flies, and mosquitoes to termites and stinging insects, these pests are back in action, and we don’t want them to spoil your spring and summer fun in the sun.

It seems as though ants are typically the first to reappear in people’s homes as temperatures rise. Sugar ants, carpenter ants, large black ants, winged ants, and little black ants are all common culprits in the spring. The first spotting of ants indicates the coming of many more springtime pests, including flies, bees, wasps, hornets, mosquitoes, crickets, termites, beetles, and more!

By following the preventive pest control methods and home projects below, you can lessen and even prevent springtime insect populations from invading your home and property in the first place. As we often mention, pest control and pest prevention work hand-in-hand! It is much easier and cost efficient to prevent a pest infestation from the beginning than having to battle a full-blown insect invasion.

Examine your home’s exterior.

Search your home’s exterior looking for cracks and holes in foundation or openings around windows and doors. Seal any cracks and crevices you find with silicone caulk, and make sure to pay special attention to areas where utility pipes enter the structure. By eliminating all openings in your home’s exterior you are taking the first step in pest control as insects must be able to enter your house before they can pose a threat or pest control problem.

Cut trees and shrubs away from the house.

Think of plants as the bridges insects cross to reach and enter your home. This includes grass because if it is growing right up against the home’s foundation, then insects will take advantage of the easy access and will be more likely to be present inside. In addition to proximity of greenery, poorly placed plants can also aggravate pest problems by weakening the structural integrity of the home’s exterior. Be sure to properly landscape around your house to avoid supplying pests with harborage sites. Keep shrubbery trimmed and ensure mulch is at least 15 inches from the foundation.

Put tight-fitting lids on trash cans.

Any area that commonly holds food will act as a pest magnet, but the trash can is a common weak point in pest prevention and control. Inspect your trash cans to ensure lids are tight-fitting to keeps the pests and animals out. If possible, line all bins with garbage bags as it will act as an extra layer of defense.

Keep a clean kitchen and pantry.

For insects, rodents, and animals, an unkept kitchen and pantry is like an open buffet line. Unsealed food packages allows easy access for pests, and even crumbs can be enough to attract an unwanted pest invasion. Food packages should always be completely sealed, and it is even better if food is kept in plastic storage containers with lids. Consistently wipe down your counters, clean out cabinets, and keep the floors clean. These simple chores double as preventative pest control methods.

Seek out stinging insects.

It is best to catch these insect populations sooner rather than later before their colonies have the chance to grow. Rafters and vents are common nesting grounds for stinging insects of all kinds, and don’t forget to check in attics and outbuildings. If you do discover a nest on your property, it is best to call a professional pest control company as removing these unwanted pests can be very dangerous.

If there’s an opening, use a screen.

As the weather shifts to warmer temperatures, many enjoy opening their windows and doors for fresh air. If this is something you look forward to every spring, be sure to install screen windows and doors, as well as repairing any rips or tears in already installed screens and sealing all other potential entryways to keep the pest out. Don’t forget your attic vents and chimney! These are openings that are key entry points for pests and wildlife that many homeowners miss.

Move firewood away from your home.

Firewood piles are attractive to pests such as termites and carpenter ants. Beyond these common examples though, there are many insects who use wood as both shelter and a food supply. To keep pulp-eating pests out of your home’s foundation, structure, and woodwork keep firewood piles away from the structure’s foundation. Also, it is a good idea to store the firewood off the ground if possible.

As you run through your springtime pest control checklist, be sure each of the above items make your list. Being proactive can go a long way in preventing a pest infestation. There is still always a chance a buzzing bee or army of ants could find their way into your home though, especially during the spring and summer months when pest pressures are at the highest. When in doubt, call 877-DEAD-BUG to hire the Black Diamond professionals to handle any and all insect and wildlife issues you may encounter.