Spring is in the air! Many of us are excited that warm weather is on the horizon, but don't forget to take care of the outdoor areas of our home. Taking care of the yard now helps to prevent certain pests and critters from entering our lawns and wreaking quite a bit of havoc as the warm weather continues.
Are you ready to pull up your sleeves and keep your yard pest-free? Get started with these eight easy spring cleaning tips!
Rake Up Leaves
After a long winter, one of the easiest things you can do as a homeowner to begin cleaning up the yard is to remove old leaves. Leaves that have been sitting all season long have most likely collected against the foundation of the home, under the deck, and inside the window wells. Over time, moisture ridden leaves will begin to decay and turn into food for a number of pests. This environment creates the perfect hiding and feeding grounds for occasional invaders such as millipedes, ants, sowbugs, and beetles.
2. Remove Standing Water
When there is improper drainage around the foundation of our homes or businesses it can result in standing water. It is common for standing water to attract a variety of troublesome pests, such as mosquitoes. Some species of mosquitoes, like the Asian tiger mosquito, locate and identify makeshift breeding locations and can deposit eggs in water sources that can be as small as a bottle cap. Adult mosquitos tend to lay their eggs in stagnant water such as clogged gutters, birdbaths, unused flowerpots and other containers in our backyards. By removing standing water from around the yard homeowners will avoid not only mosquito bites but mosquito infestations as well.
3. Trim Weeds
There are few things as annoying as an abundance of weeds in our yards. And when weeds are not taken care of, they can easily provide pests access to our homes or businesses, hide evidence of an infestation and also trap excess moisture. The weeds that are bordering the foundation should be trimmed to eliminate a pest-friendly environment. Additionally, when there is vegetation next to the foundation of a home, it can make it challenging for termite inspectors to get a good look at the foundation wall, which can be the primary access point for termites to enter your home.
4. Clean Up Debris
This is an obvious one, but any debris that is lying around the yard can become a sheltered area for various insects such as crickets, ants, sowbugs, and even a few rodents. A particular rodent that can become a nuisance in our lawns are mice. This pest will often burrow beneath the piles of debris for shelter from predators. Additionally, firewood and brush piles should be located as far from your house as possible. It's also advisable to avoid placing firewood directly on the ground. Insects such as odorous house ants, acrobat ants, and even termites will often nest beneath pieces of wood or other discarded items.
5. Maintain Trees/Shrubs that Touch the House
When trees and shrubs are touching the structure, insects such as carpenter ants and termites will have easy access to the home or business. Something many homeowners may forget to do while spring cleaning is maintain the trees and shrubs around the yard that are in direct contact with the house. When trimming, make sure to keep trees and shrubbery about 6-10 inches away from the home.
6. Clean Gutters
As the seasons officially change, one of the most attractive places on your property for pests and insects to congregate are the gutters. When your gutters are full of leaves and other debris, the wet and rotting environment is known to attract a variety of pests such as wasps, roaches, bees, and birds, just to name a few. An easy way to prevent these pests nesting and infesting your gutters is to use gutter guards (gutter covers). These preventative covers are specifically designed to protect the gutter from being clogged by twigs, leaves, and other types of debris.
7. Repair Rotting Wood
Throughout the winter months and spring, it can be easy for rotting wood to occur on your property. Wood is known to be a porous material and easily absorbs moisture from the air. Therefore, when wood becomes moist, it becomes an attractive breeding ground for destructive insects such as termites, ants, wood-boring beetles, bees, etc. The best thing you can do as a homeowner is to remove or replace the rotting wood on your property.
8. Eliminate Hiding or Nesting Areas
An easy way to keep wildlife out of your garden is to make it less attractive to the critters. To do so, you will need to eliminate hiding or nesting areas on the property. These areas include brush piles, tall grass, or crawl spaces around your porch or deck. Additionally, keep food sources out of your yard that will be inviting to animals such as raccoons, squirrels, moles, skunks, rabbits, etc.
Struggling with Pests? As The Leading Des Moines Pest Control Service, We Can Help!
Though cleaning up your yard can be a challenge and take quite some time, it is worth it, in the long run, to keep pests out of your garden or yard. But it doesn't have to stop there, for additional pest solutions, Preferred Pest can help! Our AllPest Elimination System and Ground Service plans will provide additional coverage and keep pests out of the inside and outside of your home!
Schedule an appointment with us online today or give us a call at (515) 276-7277 to get a jump start on a pest-free spring and summer!