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For most individuals, the transition into spring does not come fast enough, especially after the cold days of winter. Its no secret that the onset of spring also brings about the need for homeowners to air out their homes and start their spring cleaning. After months of keeping doors and windows closed up to avoid the cold, homeowners are now eager to let the fresh air in and enjoy all that spring has to offer.
Unfortunately, this time of the year may also let more than just the fresh air in. Pests that have been laying low (hibernating and in some cases, overwintering) over the winter season, are making themselves known during these spring months as the warm temperatures are more conducive to an increase in pest activity. For pests such as ants, rodents, termites, spiders, mosquitoes and more, spring is the optimal time to reproduce, establish new colonies and forage for new food.
Signs of possible infestations may have gone unnoticed over the winter season only to resurface as the weather warms up, which is why Truly Nolen Atlanta outlines common best practices and preventative measures that most consumers can employ to keep their homes relatively pest free. Atlanta homeowners are encouraged to make a checklist and keep a close eye out both on the interior and exterior of their homes to eliminate opportunities for pests to invade.
Bug Barometer Snapshot- What This Means for the Southeast.
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recently released a forecast for pest activity during the spring and summer months. Named the Bug Barometer, it provides an interesting insight into what we can expect as a result of winter weather patterns throughout the country and when specific pest activity will take shape. So what does this bug barometer actually do? Specifically, the NPMAs Bug Barometer is the result of research conducted by expert entomologists, who analyzed winter weather reports and patterns from across the country to determine the pest pressure index each region will experience this spring. (Source: pestworld.org)
Due to an extended winter period, the NPMA reports that residents in the Southeast could experience a delay in pest activity since warmer temperatures have yet to stabilize. This means that for Atlanta residents, some areas can experience the onset of termite swarms, while others will see this a bit later on. As the warmer weather continues, the NPMA also predicts that the combination of rain and high humidity could result in a drastic increase in pests such as mosquitoes and ants.
Pest Prevention Tips & Tricks
Although calling your Truly Nolen Atlanta pest professional is recommended for thorough inspection and treatment of your home, there are some simple tips that Atlanta residents can follow to keep your home pest free. Here, we take a closer look at defined areas in the home, especially those that are specific to home construction in Atlanta:
Higher levels of dampness and humidity are characteristic of most basements. Notorious for housing unwanted pests, this lower level structure in your home is the perfect hiding spot for pests who are prone to moisture such as roaches, silverfish and rodents.
Unfortunately, many basements represent a significant amount of storage space for the home, and piles of clutter can often be neglected for extended periods of time.
- Wherever possible, avoid having clutter in hard to reach places and store off the floor to prevent pests from taking up residence amidst piles of magazines, clothes and other items.
- To combat dampness, placing a dehumidifier in your basement can help eliminate excessive moisture.
- Check frequently for areas that may experience leaks. During the winter months, pipes can freeze and lead to cracking or bursting. Making sure that your basement is dry at all times ensures that pests do not have the ideal environment to flourish.
Attics & Crawl Spaces
Attics and crawl spaces are also prone to moisture and if not checked regularly, provide the ideal habitat for pests such as rodents, roaches and termites.
- Proper ventilation is important in keeping your attic and crawl space pest free. A regular home inspection can identify insufficient ventilation and prove to be a worthwhile short term investment for the long term safety of your home.
- Keep mice and rats from entering your attic by sealing any small openings or holes from the exterior of the home, especially the roof lines, which could provide a potential entry point.
Wooden porches and decks are characteristic of Atlanta style homes, and provide a great area to enjoy the outdoors. However, before you break out the sweet tea and lemonade, if these areas are not properly sealed, they offer dangerous pests such as termites, and even spiders, the perfect place to enjoy as well.
- Check these areas for signs of rotting wood, a favorite among termites. Repair or replace any wood that is rotting or sagging due to excessive moisture.
- Seal cracks, holes or dents.
- The underside of porches is an ideal spot for pests to reside, and the addition of a mesh barrier can help keep them out.
- Weather- proof your deck with an application of sealant or paint to provide an additional barrier between the wood and pests such as termites.
Exterior areas (including landscaping and garden)
Before pests can get inside, they must first pass through the exterior of your home and garden.
- Cracks in window frames, doorways and window screens are an easy entry point for smaller pests. Sealing these makes it more difficult for them to enter the home.
- Repair any worn out or cracked siding, as this provides good areas for pests to hide.
- Repair or replace areas of your roof that may have holes.
- Store firewood at least 15-20 feet away from your home and at least 5-6 inches off the ground.
- Leaking outdoor pipes can lead to standing water, the ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. Ensure that pipes are properly repaired and any standing water is drained.
- De-clutter your yard and remove any debris.
- If using wood mulch for your landscaping, begin placement at least 15-20 inches away from your foundation to avoid direct wood/home contact.
Interior / Main living
Through regular, indoor maintenance, homeowners can integrate habits that will help to discourage pests from finding their way inside and staying there!
- Roaches in particular, are prone to taking up residence in dark damp areas such as underneath kitchen and laundry sinks. Regularly checking these areas and making sure that leaks are addressed right away can help keep these critters out.
- Avoid leaving food, open beverages and used dishes exposed, especially overnight. Keeping your sink and countertops clean, as well as storing food (even pet food) in tightly sealed containers. These habits will not entice roaches and ants to come around.
- In the spirit of the spring cleaning season, now is the ideal time to de-clutter your home and dispose of unnecessary items such as piles of magazines and newspapers (a Silverfishs favorite snack) and any other items that are not needed.
By practicing healthy spring cleaning habits, you can deter pests from finding their way in and around your home. However, if they do make it in, contact your Truly Nolen Atlanta pest control expert at 678-561-2847 to schedule your free inspection.