With recent rains and cooler weather there has been a rash of calls about insect problems in homes. Pests enter homes through cracks, holes, windows and doors, while others hitch a ride on incoming groceries, pets, people, plants, firewood, laundry and furnishings. Put tight-fitting screens on windows, doors and ventilators and keep them in good repair. Seal cracks and holes around foundations, doors and ventilators.
Inspect incoming groceries, pets, furnishings and clothing, and be especially watchful for pests on incoming house plants and firewood. Remove or treat mulch around foundations and in gutters since mulch can harbor pests.
Clean and tidy homes have fewer pest problems. Sweeping, dusting, mopping and vacuuming greatly reduce pest problems. Keep food in tight containers or in the refrigerator. After eating, clean the table and dishes. Use trash cans and empty them frequently and thoroughly. Make sure garbage storage areas outside your home are emptied at least once each week and cleaned of food and debris. Remember, pests thrive in areas where grease and food are accessible. Repair leaks to keep moisture levels low.
Be on the lookout for areas where pests are setting up their living areas. Examine areas where the pest was found to determine where it is residing. Often a pest can be controlled easily by removing, cleaning or treating its living area such as infested stored food, pet, carpet, clothing, wood, house plants and furnishings.
Identify unknown pests seen in the home. Pest identification greatly helps in the pest control process. Homeowners should be greatly relieved to know that professional assistance is readily available to assist with pest identification and pest control. A good publication on home insect control is available through the County Extension Office.
Also, local veterinarians and pest control operators are available to provide information on the identification, biology and control of pests.