2017 is here and already picking up speed! Of course, with the New Year comes a slew of changes. Whether it’s a lot of “New Year, New You” resolutions, a career change, or even a big move, the New Year can represent a re-focusing of priorities and a fresh push at something different. Many homeowners use the opportunity to travel, refocus on keeping their house in order, or just generally want to improve their situation. Keep these tips in mind as you set your resolutions and strategies to be the “best you” that you can be!
…but if you are planning to travel this winter season, be sure to be vigilant against bringing bed bugs back… those are pests that you DON’T want to “gift” others with, for sure! Travel can make you more likely to come in contact with bed bugs (by staying in hotels/motels or riding on public transit). Fortunately, though, bed bug infestation can be as simple as a quick ten-minute inspection before “unwinding.” As soon as you enter your room, place your luggage inside the bathroom — not the closet– until your inspection is done. The EPA has a handy guide to preventing and dealing with bed bugs, but you can also use these simple tips to do a “once-over” upon arrival in your hotel room:
You should look for:
Bed Bugs can be found in:
Once you’ve determined that bed bugs are nowhere to be found, you can remove your luggage from the bathroom and place it in the closet/drawers/etc as desired (again, this self-inspection should take under 10 minutes).
Winter months are prime time for rodents to invade your home! As they look for shelter from cold/wet weather, your home becomes prime real estate!
Rodents (such as shiprats and sewer rats) will often find sources of water and decide to set up shop nearby — often within the walls or even in the attic of your home! Mosquitoes use stagnant puddles for reproduction and can often swarm nearby as a result. Silverfish LOVE moist, cool, dark places, and you’ll often catch them scurrying away if you flip on the light in a crawlspace that is not properly sealed. Reptiles and other pests will also seek out similarly cool, damp places. Eliminating these sources of water can go a long way to not only preventing the hassle of insects, but it can also prevent disease such as dengue, malaria, and others that are carried by mosquitoes and their kin. Be sure to check your home for sources of stagnant water (leaky pipes or improper drainage).
Keep your home clear of clutter. If you have a shed or workstation in your backyard, be sure to clean (or at the very least organize) any discarded pieces of wood or tools. Rodents love to nest in piles like those and it can ALSO be a prime location for bees and wasps to form nests. In fact, we’ve seen a bee’s nest between two garbage can lids that hadn’t been moved in months! Clearing out spaces like these can go a LONG way to helping your pest control efforts, and a little bit of effort on the “front end” can keep your cost down in the long run.
Having renovations done? Whether “DIY” or via contractor, be sure to double check repairs or improvements to your home as they are made. Many times pests are able to gain access after a new appliance (such as a refrigerator or a dishwasher) is installed. Most contractors do their best to seal up any modifications, but trouble spots are sometimes missed.
Look for holes in the walls or window screening. Check for cracks or gaps in doorways. Pests can enter the home through a surprisingly small space. Mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime, while a raccoon can squeeze through a gap of six inches! Use caulking, weather stripping, or door sweeps. Replace screens with tears or holes. Make sure that any under-the-house crawlspaces are protected with plastic lining.
Of course, even the best laid plans can go awry, and pests can pop up in even the most diligent home! For these occasions, the best solution is a quick call to your friendly neighborhood pest control operator! With a variety of services designed to fit your need and budget (be it ants, roaches, rodents or bees) Pro Pacific Pest Control ready to answer your call!