Home & Garden

Ask Angi: 8 tips to prevent pests this spring and summer

Unwanted and uninvited guests can really ruin your day — and that goes double if they’re rodents, insects or other pests that decide your backyard party, picnic or kitchen are a great place for an impromptu pest party. Here are eight tips for keeping surprise visitors away from your home this summer.

1. Act quickly

As soon as you spot signs of potential pest infestations, take steps to address the problem. If you see a few flies or ants, or some mouse droppings in a corner, there’s probably a lot more you can’t see.

2. Store food securely

Unprotected food is like a bell ringing “dinnertime!” for pests. Store all food in airtight containers. Keep your kitchen and dining room clean of crumbs and wipe up sugary liquids immediately. Seal garbage cans to ward off pests.

3. Check the exterior

Walk around your house and think from a pest’s perspective. What entry points can you see, and what can you do to prevent them? Make sure tree limbs and bushes don’t touch your outer walls; they offer easy access for insects. If you have firewood, store it on a platform away from the house. Check for damage on window and door screens, and repair any holes. Make sure mulch isn’t right up against your walls.

4. Watch the water

Moisture attracts insects and creates breeding grounds. Look out for any standing water in your yard. Mosquitoes can breed in just half an inch of water; a bottle cap is enough to get the job done. Clear any debris that can hold water and frequently change the water in birdbaths.

5. Protect your attic

Squirrels, raccoons and other animals look for a warm, dry place to hide out for winter and will use any entry point they can find to hide in your attic. Close up any holes and make sure your soffits and roof ridges are in good shape.

6. Inspect the foundation

Cracks in your foundation provide perfect infiltration points for pests. Carefully check around your exterior and seal up gaps with caulk. Keep your gutters and downspouts clean, because clogged gutters can create standing water.

7. Hire a pro

Don’t hesitate to hire a pest control pro if your best efforts fail. A good company will do more than just get rid of the pests. They'll also plug the entry points to keep them from returning and offer tips for your specific situation. When hiring, verify that they hold the proper licensing for your state or municipality. Also, make sure they have whatever certifications are required for their specific pesticides.

8. Consider integrated pest management

Integrated pest management, also known as IPM, combines multiple strategies to prevent pests in an environmentally conscious manner. It combines prevention methods with monitoring to determine which organisms need to be controlled and with what techniques. Ask your pest control pro if they’re familiar with IPM and how it can benefit you.


Tweet your home care questions with #AskAngi and we’ll try to answer them in a future column.


©2022 Ask Angi. Visit at angi.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

This story was originally published May 6, 2022 12:43 PM.

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