1 – Landscape maintenance: If everything is overgrown you will have pests around – not if, but when. Pests will use your overgrown landscaping as places to hide, places to nest/live, and as vehicles to climb to get to their next destination. And sometimes their next destination is the inside of your home. So cut it back, keep it away from the house, and pay attention to changes (pest activity) around the perimeter of your home. Pests will tell you things and they will show you things, you just have to be willing to listen/watch.

2 – Standing water: Remove any standing water on your property. Did you ever notice that water never stands still at the happiest place on earth (Disney Land)? That’s because old, stagnant water brings pests. Disney Land knows it and they keep it flowing – 24/7/365. Old, consistently wet wood, old buckets filled with water and full clogged gutters will also bring the pests to your house in droves. You get it? Any/all water draws pests. So pay attention to drainage, stagnant water, bird baths, etc. It may not happen overnight, but long-term neglect related to water will bring pests around.

3 – Gutters: Always keep them clean and empty so rain water can flow right through them. Make sure your downspouts are in good, working order and diverted far enough away from your house that your foundation isn’t getting wet. Full gutters are heavy and will begin to pull away from the house. The space where they have been pulled away from will become weak and wet. Squirrels, chipmunks, birds, mice, raccoons, bats, etc. are notorious for making that spot their new front door. The wood behind is weak, and the holes are already there – do you blame them? A chewing pest will make quick work of that kind of area. Pay attention to any gutter issues, and take care of them quickly.

4 – Bird feeders, bird seed, etc.: Keep bird feeders, bird baths, etc., as far away from the house as you can. Sheridan Pest understands that you love your wildlife and your view, but having bird seed next to the house is a bad idea. You might as well just invite squirrels inside, because if you have bird seed next to the house, they are coming anyway. Bird seed means pests will be hanging around 24/7/365. Place your feeders as far back as you possibly can while still enjoying your wildlife and scenery. One more thing – all those rodents, birds, etc. near the house is a bad idea because they are covered in TICKS. They will sprinkle those TICKS everywhere. You didn’t think of that, did you?

5 – Water leaks: Inside the house or out, you cannot let a leak go for any length of time. You don’t want hose spigots leaking, you don’t want gutters dripping down the siding or foundation, you don’t want a consistently wet deck, you don’t want piles of wet wood anywhere, and you don’t want puddles around the house. If you have places on your property that are always wet or puddly (is that a word? Editor says no… keeping it anyway!), you want to address those areas. If not, over time, the worst kinds of pests are coming. Carpenter ants, termites, mice, rats, roaches, etc. just to name a few. I promise.

6 – Exclusion: Exclusion is just a fancy way to say seal that puppy up. If you have any obvious openings on the exterior of your house, get them sealed. Caulk your windows. Pay special attention to chases, or areas where utilities and other pipes are entering the house. Look up once in a while at your gables, soffits, fascia, etc. These are known trouble spots where pests will come in. Once in a while, check your screens for holes and rips.

7 – Garbage: Keep it sealed up tight and away from the house. Obviously, easy to access garbage will bring unwanted pests to the crib. Tip within a tip: Bag all waste, ESPECIALLY meat wrappers, because over time you could develop maggots in your garbage cans. I promise you that this is an alarming thing to discover. And clean those suckers once in a while. The summer is a good time to clean and disinfect those outdoor garbage receptacles because they get SMELLY!

8 – Damp areas within the home: Keep the basement, crawl spaces, and attic properly ventilated so they don’t become cesspools for pests.

9 – Firewood: Keep the firewood piles as far away from the structure as you can. It is often a hiding spot for every pest under the sun. Including those terrible wood borers like termites, and carpenter ants.

10 – Clutter: A cluttered house draws pests in, makes pest inspections harder to do, and makes pest treatments less effective. And all that junk gives pests places to nest, breed, and multiply. Yuck! Stop telling yourself you are going to read last year’s newspapers, and all those magazines you stole. You aren’t! Recycle, throw away, rent a dumpster… do something to give the pests less of a chance to thrive. Simply said, pests gravitate towards messes. Don’t be a mess.

There was a slight “water is bad” theme in this blog… pay attention because there is a reason for that!

Pests are opportunists. Educated homeowners can keep their pest exposure down if they follow some simple and sensible tips for pest management. As always, please call Sheridan Pest Control if you are having any pest issues. We’d love to help!
-Mike Sheridan
Sheridan Pest Control