Here are some tips from my exterminator friends:
1. Expect unwelcome houseguests like spiders and scorpions from March until the end of November. In the winter, they’re content to live outside because the weather is pleasant.
2. Scout around your yard to find their hiding places. Favorite hangouts are under decorative boulders because there’s usually a space of an inch or so between the rock and the soil—plenty of room for them to live without being noticed. Roll the rock away, kill the pests you can see, and then fill that space in with gravel or expansion foam.
3. Look inside boxes around the outside of your home, like the ones that house the electric meter, the irrigation valve, or phone and cable connections. Spray inside the valve box with an insecticide.
4. Check the seal around your exterior doors. If there’s a gap of even an eighth of an inch between the door and the floor, that’s as good as a welcome mat for insects. Add a door sweep.
5. Check that stem wall every month during the warm season. If you find a mud tube the width of a finger, you could have termites. Don’t mess with them yourself; call a pest-control company immediately. He’ll tell you if the problem is termites or mud daubers, which also build mud tubes. You can usually get a free inspection and estimate for treatment.
6. Examine the trim around your siding, windows, doors and carport for cracks and gaps, and seal them with caulk.
7. Bugs love to sneak in through baseboards. It’s not a good idea to spray a lot of insecticide inside the home, but if you see crickets in the house, spray around the baseboards.
8. Avoid spraying Raid all over the house if you see crickets or spiders. You’ll kill the ones you see, but bugs have a way of communicating danger to each other, so the ones you can’t see will just walk around the spray and make themselves at home. Keeping the pests outside is a better solution than drowning them in bug spray after they’re already in.
9. Don’t overlook the roof line. Critters can crawl and fly—and drop or jump from trees onto your roof. Once they’re there, they can get into your house through gaps between eaves, joints and trim. Using a mirror, look under those parts; you could find holes as big as your fist. Fill them in with spray-in expansion foam to keep rodents out of the attic.
Creating barriers for bugs will help keep them out of your home. If your problem is chronic, call a pest-control company, which can apply the safest, longest-lasting treatment.
For additional information on controlling pests visit Blue Sky Pest Control.