The Oregonian: How to Keep the Creepy-Crawlies Outdoors
3/8/2013Are you seeing ants all over the kitchen counter? Do you have (ugh!) cockroaches skittering around under the sink? No matter what your household intruder, insect or rodent, the National Pest Management Association has some tips for keeping them out of your home:
- Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home including entry points for utilities and pipes.
- Keep tree branches and shrubs trimmed and away from the house.
- Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces ventilated and dry.
- Keep food areas clean, do dishes regularly, vacuum regularly in areas where crumbs might linger (under the dining room or kitchen table, family room couch, etc.).
- Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
- Repair fascia and rotted roof shingles; some insects are drawn to deteriorating wood.
- Replace weatherstripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet from the house and 5 inches off the ground.
- Keep outdoor trash and compost bins at least 10 feet from your house.
Call in a qualified pest professional if additional advice and treatment is necessary. One of the big advances in pest control in the past decade is integrated pest management, which uses a no-toxicity or low-toxicity approach that targets the source of the problem rather than the surface issue.
Source: Pest World.org, website for the National Pest Management Association
Check out the pest association's guide to identifying household invaders at pestworld.org/pest-guide