Healthful Tips For Your Home in Summer
- Decks and porches. Leaves and other debris
under decks, in window wells and behind bushes
should be removed to eliminate decaying organic
matter as well.
- Deck flashing. Ensure all deck and porch
flashing is in good repair to prevent water
build up and leaks into your home. It has been
our experience that a great number of carpenter
ant infestations originate from leaks between
sliding glass doors and decks or porches.
- Excessive plant cover on and around your
home. Vines and shrubbery growing on decks,
and up the side of your home should be removed
or at least well-trimmed. This will eliminate
dampness and decaying organic matter which may
provide a food source and harborage for insects.
Continued dampness may lead to wood rot and
become susceptible to carpenter ants.
- Dead and rotten trees & stumps. Remove
dead or rotten trees and stumps from around
your home. Termites and other wood destroying
insects commonly feed in these areas.
- Overhanging tree limbs. Carpenter ants commonly
nest in trees and stumps; and use branches and
vines to gain access into structures. Trimming
tree limbs that are in contact or overhang your
home will reduce access for these ants as well
as access for squirrels.
- Proper lighting. To avoid attracting many
flying insects out of the woods and into your
home at night, use indirect instead of direct
lighting. Also use sodium filled (yellow) light
bulbs rather than mercury-filled bulbs. Move
lighting away from your home and direct it toward
your home to lure flying insects, spiders and
earwigs away from the house instead of attracting
them to it.
- Pet bedding. Wash or replace pet bedding,
pet blankets and pet pillows this time of year
to reduce the occurrence of fleas. Vacuum all
pet resting and sleeping areas to eliminate
flea eggs. Vacuuming is helpful in removing
fleas from closets, behind and under furniture,
and in other so called “quiet zones.”
- Torn window, door and attic vent screens.
Tears and holes should be repaired to prevent
flies, mosquitoes, stinging insects and cluster
flies from entering your home.
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Tips for Fall
Firewood storage. Carpenter ants will forage extensively and will travel as far as 100 yards from their nest. Store firewood as far from your home as possible—removing your home from the range of carpenter ants, termites and other wood-destroying insects.
Openings at plumbing, electrical, and telephone line entrances into your home. Sealing openings around these entries reduces access for many occasional invaders including house crickets, centipedes, millipedes and rodents.
Grocery bags stored improperly. Store a small number of paper grocery bags in a cool dry area. Damp grocery bags in a warm area provide harborage for cockroaches.
Unsealed recyclable storage practices. Store recyclables away from the kitchen in sealed containers. Unsealed recyclables provide food, water, and shelter for insects such as cockroaches and flies.
Un-caulked shower and tub fixtures. Many insects including silverfish will try to infest your bathroom. Keep all pipe chases sealed to prevent harborage for these pests.
Leaky plumbing fixtures. Leaky fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom, as well as outside spigots, provide a needed water source for many insects and rodents. Door sweeps. Install door sweeps on exterior doors as well as on overhead garage doors to prevent mice, chipmunks and squirrels from entering this fall.
Excessive debris in gutters. Clean the gutters. Fall is the time to prevent water and ice back ups from damaging your roof and soffit. Moisture damaged wood will provide an excellent carpenter ant nesting site in the spring.