Spring is finally here, and so is the time-honored tradition of giving your home its annual deep cleaning. Spring cleaning usually means moving furniture around and tearing closets apart, which makes this the best time of year to inspect your home for signs of a pest infestation and to take a few extra steps to keep your home pest free throughout the year without using chemicals.
Kari Warberg Block, pest prevention expert and founder of EarthKind® and Stay Away® natural pest prevention products,offers the following tips for spring cleaning with pest prevention in mind:
Garage: Pests need a way inside, and your garage is an ideal entrance.
- Store items in hard plastic totes with tight fitting lids because rodents and cockroaches love to chew on cardboard boxes.
Basement: This area is the second most mouse prone place in your home.
- Repair any leaky pipes or dripping appliances to prevent musty smells, mold, and moisture that may attract bugs and rodents. Try using a dehumidifier if dampness persists.
Kitchen: 50% of rodent infestations inside a home happen here. Just because you haven’t seen rodents doesn’t mean you don’t have any. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), rodents invade about 21 million homes each winter. By the time you notice the tell-tale signs of an infestation, it’s usually too late.
- Keep your kitchen clean naturally by using ingredients you already have on hand like soap, vinegar and lemons.
Pantry: The pantry moth or Indian meal moth is considered to be the true definition of the word pest. It only takes one female to enter your home and she can quickly cause an infestation with her ability to lay 300 eggs at a time.
- Be sure to give your pantry a thorough cleaning and check all packages inside and out for small holes, cocoon webbing, or off-white moth larvae.
- Store foods in airtight glass, metal, or plastic containers.
Bedroom: If you see your bedroom as a safe haven, you’d probably be surprised to learn that household pests do too, especially spiders!
- Use a vacuum to remove dust and spider webs from walls and ceilings including hard-to-reach places, such as the tops of ceiling fans. The vibration will send spiders packing.
- To prevent spider webs, use a spray made of half a cup of water, half a cup of vinegar, two tablespoons of liquid dish soap and twenty drops of thyme oil.
Closet: A dark and undisturbed closet is like an all-you-can-eat buffet that never closes to a moth.
- Moths are attracted to biological residue such as sweat, hair, or body oils. So be sure to wash or dry clean all clothing before storing.
Bathrooms: Pests need moisture to thrive, and there is plenty to be found in a bathroom.
- Examine your bathroom for any cracks and seal off their entryway. Steel wool and silicone caulk offer the best protection from all pests — even rats and mice.
Exterior: Changes in temperate can quickly create cracks in your home’s foundation that you are unaware of. Rodents only need an opening the size of a dime to squeeze through.
- Be sure to thoroughly inspect the exterior of your home and patch up any openings.
Use a natural pest repellant: For extra protection, use a natural pest repellent like Stay Away® natural pest prevention pouches to prevent a pest infestation before it begins. Stay Away® repels rodents, ants, spiders and moths without the use of harmful chemicals or poisons, making it safe to use around children and pets.
- Interested in trying Stay Away? We are running a giveaway for a Stay Away starter kit on our Facebook page so check it out!