“How did that even get in here?” It’s one of the most difficult questions a homeowner will try to answer when facing an infestation. But, it’s also critical to figure out so that a proper integrated pest management plan can both treat the existing problem and prevent it from happening again.
At Nozzle Nolen, we know that our fellow South Florida residents face some unique problems when it comes to pest prevention methods. The weather here appeals to both common and exotic insects, and we have the most mosquito species in the country, to name a couple. Knowing that’s the case, we can offer the following tips on the best pest prevention methods starting from the inside and working our way to the edge of your property.
Pest Prevention Methods Inside the House
There are two goals when you are looking for pest prevention methods inside the house—removing food and water and eliminating means of access. By taking care of both, you will be making it less attractive to various pests that might make their way into your house. The best pest prevention methods consist of taking care of both inside and outside of your house. We recommend:
- Ensure water and food are handled properly
- Patch up cracks and repair wood
- Seal up waste bins
- Maintain gaps between your house and bushes/trees
- Keep your lawn neatly trimmed
- Eliminate standing water
- Clean up debris
Ensure Water and Food Are Handled Properly
Most people will never see cockroaches until they have become a giant problem. These nocturnal creatures only venture out at night to feed. They also need very small amounts of water, which can be found in bathrooms around toilets and sinks, and even near your kitchen sink or refrigerator. Make sure food preparation and garbage areas are well-kept. Storing food in sealed plastic or glass containers and regularly removing garbage from your home will help limit rodents’ appeal to your South Florida home.
Pests Affected: Rodents, Roaches
Patch Up Cracks and Repair All Wood
Most people think of window and door screens when it comes to preventing flying insects, but those aren’t the only way that they can make it into your home. Eaves and cracks in windows are prime targets for wasps and hornets looking to make a nest that avoids all-day sunshine. Furthermore, untreated wood is often used by drywood termites to set up a colony. So any repairs will make a drastic difference in preventing infestations and block off potential entry points into your home.
Pests Affected: Wasps, Hornets, Termites, Roaches
Pest Prevention Methods Around the Exterior
The transition spaces between inside and outside also deserve special attention. They often act as billboards for creatures you don’t want as roommates, saying, “Come this way for a new nesting place.”
Installing door sweeps is a great first step to ensure nothing is crawling under doors and gaining access to your living space. Again, make sure these transition areas are kept clean and free from any food or debris that pests might find enticing.
Seal Waste Bins and Clean Up
There are few things more disgusting than seeing a partially ajar trash can, opening it, and finding that fly larvae or rodents have already made their way inside. When you add wasps and other creatures into the mix, it’s easy to see why making sure your garbage can is pest-proof is critical.
The same holds true for any area where you may entertain guests, especially grills and things of that nature. We frequently see yellow jackets build their nests on the foldable shelves on barbecues, to name just one example. While it’s not a fun part of the party, it will help limit your exposure.
Pests Affected: Wasps, Hornets, Rodents
Maintain Gaps Between Your House and Bushes/Trees
Creating space between your greenery and your home is crucial to breaking the path to the interior of your house. Termites regularly travel up wooden railings from grass when they find a clear path, as do roaches and other creatures. One of the pests we haven’t discussed yet is the mosquito. They love to hang out in bushes during the heat and come out at dusk and dawn looking for a food source which is often you, a loved one, or a pet.
Pests Affected: Termites, Mosquitoes, Bees, Wasps, Hornets
Pest Prevention Methods in the Lawn and Garden
Some of the most significant things you can do to prevent pests from infesting your property are popularly known as “perimeter control.” It makes a good bit of sense—if bugs and rodents don’t find your property appealing, they’ll never venture near your home. The following pointers are things you can do around your lawn and garden to protect against everything from chinch bugs and mosquitoes to wasps and hornets.
Keep Your Lawn Neatly Trimmed
Not only does your lawn look better when mowed weekly, but it is also often the first line of attack for many pests. Not only do grass-targeting insects like sod webworms and chinch bugs thrive on overgrown St. Augustine turf, but mosquitoes can use patches of weeds to rest during the hottest hours of the day. Keeping a tidy lawn limits the feeding area for these pests and can help make it easier to identify paths of other pests that may be trying to get to food sources in and around your home.
Pests Affected: Sod webworms, chinch bugs, mosquitos
Eliminate Standing Water
Standing water is the number one tip for South Florida property owners looking for pest prevention methods. The reason is two-fold: a number of mosquito species only lay their eggs in shallow water and the swarms of these biting insects often become the most frustrating pest control issue for owners. The second is that it can be difficult to track all of the areas where standing water can exist. Here are just a few examples:
- Clogged gutters
- Over-watered plants
- Tire swings
- Uneven patios and driveways
- Bird baths
There are of course many other places where stagnant water can form, so it’s best to simply walk your property and make sure that you have dumped old water and refreshed it where necessary.
Pests Affected: Mosquitos, potentially roaches
Clean Up Debris
Whether there are leftover boards from a handyman’s project, an overturned kiddie pool, or a pile of wood that didn’t get used in the firepit, what you leave out on your property can be a potential nest, food source, or breeding ground for multiple unwanted pests. So, when possible, make sure that you store old projects, toys, and tools in a shed, garage, or another safe place.
Pests Affected: Nearly All
At Nozzle Nolen, we understand that keeping up with these pest prevention methods can feel like a full-time job. Well, it is. It’s ours, and we are here to help. Our 365 Complete Plan includes quarterly visits that focus on prevention as part of an integrated pest management plan.
Call us at 1-800-226-6536 or Contact Us to book your free consultation. We look forward to serving you.