Healthful Tips For Your Home in Winter

  1. Prolonged storage of garments/fabrics. To prevent carpet beetle, cloth moth and other fabric insect damage, avoid prolonged storage of unused garments, bedding, any fur or animal pelts, old wool rugs, or upholstered furniture.
  2. Food storage areas. Keep kitchen cabinets, pantry areas and other food storage areas clean and remove crumbs or food particles, as exposed food attracts insects. Use older products before newer ones, and opened packages first.
  3. When purchasing packaged food, be certain containers are sealed. Check the packaging date. Packages with clear plastic or wax paper coverings should be checked for food-infesting moth larva and other insects.
  4. Improper food storage practices. Store dried foods in insect proof containers such as screw top glass, heavy plastic, or metal containers. This prevents entry or escape of Indian Meal Moths and other pantry pests.
  5. Purchase dried food in packages that can be used up in a short time. With families of our own, we realize the benefits to purchasing in bulk, however, whenever possible keep foods in dry storage less than 2 to 4 months.
  6. Broken basement windows, warped doors, holes in the foundation, or unscreened vents. These are invasion routes for mice, rats and even squirrels. Close bulkhead doors tightly. Cover vents with metal grillwork, backed by rust resistant screening.
  7. Trash containers clean, covered, and lined with plastic trash bags. Keep trash containers clean, covered, and lined with plastic trash bags to reduce this food source for cockroaches and rodents.
  8. Pet food unsealed or left out overnight. Indian Meal Moths and other pantry pests will infest pet and bird food if left accessible. Keep pet and bird food sealed and unavailable to these pests. Rats and Mice will also feed on pet and bird foods.
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Tips for Spring More Tips

Wood to soil contact. Keep soil from touching wood to reduce pest access. If there must be wood to soil contact (on a porch or deck) use pressure-treated wood or material which is insect resistant. Eliminate hollow porch post and columns.

Ventilation and high moisture conditions. Eliminating damp conditions, increasing ventilation and replacing decayed wood, aids carpenter ant management and helps prevent future infestations by the ants and wood destroying fungi. This may include your cellar, crawl spaces or under dirt filled porches.

Flower and shrubbery beds. Adding crushed rock around the foundation instead of mulch will eliminate a food and harborage source for sow bugs, centipedes, millipedes and many other insects. Crushed rock is also a rodent and snake deterrent.

Leaking gutters and roof lines. Keep gutters and roof lines in good repair and free of debris to reduce wood rot. This reduces breeding areas for wood destroying insects. Satellite carpenter ant colonies are usually in areas of moisture damaged wood.

Openings at plumbing, electrical, and telephone line entrances into your home. Sealing openings around these entries reduces access for carpenter ants, stinging insects, and many occasional invaders.

Excessive plant cover around the foundation. Leaves and other debris under decks, in window wells, and behind bushes should be removed to eliminate decaying organic matter which may provide a food source or harborage for insects such as sow bugs, centipedes and millipedes.