In the heat of summer, unwanted pests are making their way into cooler homes, and they are more than just a nuisance. Pests pose risks to people's health and property, so it is important for homeowners to take steps to prevent infestations. There are many ways in which homeowners can "pest proof" their homes as part of their summer-maintenance routine. Taking preventive measures early in the season is the best approach to keeping pests at bay.
"As the warmer weather brings back numerous pests, early summer is the perfect time for homeowners to thoroughly inspect their homes as part of seasonal maintenance," says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).
Various insects such as ants, flies, termites and cockroaches are frequent summer home intruders, as are those of the stinging variety such as mosquitoes, wasps, bees and yellowjackets.
The NPMA recommends a number of methods to keep household pests outside, where they belong.
* Seal cracks and small openings in the home's foundation, around windows and doors.
* Repair ripped window screens.
* Cut tree branches and plants so that they do not reach too close to the house.
* Eliminate sources of moisture or standing water, including bird baths and in clogged gutters.
* Inspect the outside of a home for nests built by stinging insects -- typically found in the eaves under roofs.
* Keep kitchen counters clean, and store food like sugary cereals in sealed containers.
* Empty garbage containers frequently and seal indoor containers.
* Make sure pets' food and dishes are not left out for long periods of time.
Clearing away all things that attract critters is one of the best ways to pest-proof a house because it denies pests the means of thriving in and around your home.
If you find any signs of an infestation after a thorough inspection of your home, you should call a pest professional who can help identify and treat the problem.