PMSI Blog Post
10 Tidy Tips to Keep Pests at Bay This Spring
As gray days and winter chills give way to sunshine and warmer weather, critters of all shapes and sizes become problematic once again – and with our very mild winter, they will come out with a vengeance. What are you doing to prepare your home and yard for the inevitable onslaught of wood destroying insects, wildlife and mosquitos? Mike Bean, Pest Management Services’ veteran service manager and Commercial Certified Applicator in multiple categories , has some expert precautions you can take to prepare your home for spring.
A venerable pest management authority, Bean has been helping customers throughout the DMV, West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania combat unwanted pests since PMSI’s founding in 1986. Bean oversees a team of 12 exterminators who travel throughout the Northern Virginia area fighting problem pests, and even runs a route himself! After nearly a quarter-century in the business, Bean has learned a thing or two about proactive steps customers can take to keep insects, termites, mosquitoes, wildlife and fungus/moisture under control at home this spring.
According to Bean, insects need three basic things to survive – food, water and harborage. By removing these elements, homeowners can live pest-free.
In that vein, here are Mike’s “10 Tidy Tips” to keep your home and yard pest-free this spring:
Clean your gutters – Gutter debris is an ideal home for rodents and insects. Make sure to clean your gutters regularly or hire a reliable gutter-cleaning company to get the job done.
Seal up entry points in your foundation or air conditioning line – Mice and ants are experts at sniffing out entry points into your home – be it tiny cracks in your foundation or crevices near HVAC piping. Make an effort to find those entry points this spring and seal them.
Fix the holes in your screens or replace them – Who doesn’t love to open the windows on a warm spring day? Yet, holey screens are the perfect entry-point for winged insects and ants. Find those holes and seal them before the weather gets nice, or plan to replace your screens altogether.
Keep up with your quarterly maintenance – Establishing a contract with PMSI to come every quarter to proactively inspect your home and treat for unwanted pests is the best way to remain critter-free every month of the year.
Cut-back tree-limbs at least three feet from the house – Tree limbs are another gateway into your home for critters big or small. Make sure all limbs are cut back at least three feet from the house or hire a certified arborist to handle the job.
Keep an eye on your mulch – According to Bean, mulch is “perfect termite food.” If mulch piles come directly to the side of your home, be sure to keep an eye out for termites or other wood destroying insects throughout the season. Laying a barrier of rocks between your mulch and foundation is ideal.
Watch for stagnant water – April showers bring May flowers, but showers happen in May and June, too – and that is mosquito breeding time! Throughout the spring and summer, be vigilant about turning over wheel barrows, empty flower pots, kiddie pools, fire pits or any other yard elements that could collect stagnant pools of water and attract mosquitoes. To keep your family safe and comfortable this spring, consider purchasing PMSI’s Green or Non-Green mosquito service, offered April through October.
Secure all bird seed or pet food kept in your garage – Make sure that bags of birdseed and pet food stored in your garage are kept in tightly-covered bins to dissuade mice and other rodents from making it their next meal.
Monitor garbage/compost cans – Be sure all garbage and compost cans are tightly secured to guard against raccoons and other unwanted pests who might be looking for their midnight snacks.
Keep wood piles at least 50-feet away from the house – While springtime is a great time to get the firepit going again, woodpiles are a favorite hiding place for snakes and mice. Keep pesky pests from crashing your next campfire by storing firewood in an elevated metal rack at least 50 feet away from your home.
Have you scheduled your quarterly spring service yet? Start the season right by calling PMSI today at 703-723-2899 in the DMV; 304-363-7870 in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Western Maryland; 504-868-1111 in Winchester and 540-315-9735 in Blacksburg. Let PMSI defend your home turf from uninvited pests, just like they do with their official partners – the Washington Redskins, the Baltimore Ravens, the Washington Wizards, the Washington Capitals and Virginia Tech!