As the weather is warming up, pests are starting to emerge from their winter hiding spots. Spring is when many animals are breeding and migrating to find new food sources. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is the most effective way to keep pests away with a minimal amount of chemicals used around your community. An IPM approach leaves chemicals as the last resort when it comes to pest control and focuses on prevention instead.
One of the easiest ways to keep your property pest-free is to prevent them from showing up in the first place. As pest season is around the corner, here are some helpful tips the keep the pests away so you can enjoy a worry-free Spring and Summer.
Tips For Avoiding Springtime Pests
The Winter and Spring rain brought lovely green foliage and fresh blooms, but this provides optimal conditions for breeding and rearing of young rodents. Bushes and trees provide shade and shelter for the young rodents while also providing a food source. This increase in breeding and food availability will create higher rodent populations that will move from the surrounding natural areas to the lush, nutrient rick landscaping of your home or association. Keeping up with landscaping maintenance should be a primary focus when it comes to an IPM approach for Spring and Summer pest control. Skirt up ground foliage and trim tress back to deter rodents from using your Springtime greenery as their new home.
- Avoid Keeping Trash
Trash and standing water around your home are two things that will attract several types of pests. Standing water is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Most people think of a pool or bucket of water, but even overwatering your plants is enough water for mosquitoes to lay their eggs in. Mosquitoes can travel for miles for a meal but reducing the standing water around your home will significantly reduce the number you see. Cockroaches, ants, and other insects feed on small amounts of food, grease, and fiber. Even trace amounts of trash will attract these pests to your home. Rodents are constantly looking for hidden, safe, shady places to live and cardboard boxes or clutter are the perfect hiding spots for them. Cleaning up trash and clutter and keeping pet food inside eliminates a major food source and encourages pests to move on to find food and shelter somewhere else. Keeping your trashcans closed and sanitized eliminates a food source for small critters as well as larger animals, such as skunks and raccoons. The less food and water you have for pests, the less pests you will have around as well
- Keep Windows Closed
Spring in Southern California is the best time to cut down on your energy costs and open the windows to air out and cool down your home. We love to enjoy the openness of having all windows open during these warm afternoons and cool evenings. Open windows will also invite pests into your cozy home. We aren’t suggesting that you don’t open the windows, but when you do make sure there is a screen on the windows. Check on all window screens for rips, tears and weather stripping around the window seals and doorways to keep pest out. Insects seem to have a way of finding those holes and making their way into your home.
- Look for Bee Activity
Spring brings new blooms, and pollinators will be attracted to these fresh flowers causing a sharp increase in bee activity in Spring and Summer. There are two types of bee activity to look out for. The first is a bee swarm. These bees present themselves as a large clump of bees, usually in a football shape, on a branch or on the side of a building. A bee swarm may look intimidating, but they are just looking for a new place to live and will likely leave in 28-48 hours. The second is an established beehive. Contrary to a swarm, you may only see a few bees of an established hive, but they have already started building their honeycomb somewhere close by. Once these bees establish a hive in the walls of a structure, they can cause thousands of dollars in damage and attract other pests. It is best to call a professional as soon as you see bees going in and out of a wall to help mitigate the cost and damage.
These are just a few tips and suggestions to help keep pests away from your home as we move into Spring. The main thing to keep in mind is that pests are always on the lookout for a new food source and better shelter close to that food source. Eliminating these temptations from around your home will keep you and your community pest free, allowing you to enjoy the sunshine without the fear of wondering what else is around.