Now that the weather will start getting warmer, soon the bugs will be making an appearance. Pests are a reality of everyday life, there are over 94,000 species of pests in the United States. Pests can not only cause physical damage to your home, they can also spread germs, irritate allergies and generally make the environment in your home uncomfortable. Today, you can choose from many different methods as you plan your strategy for controlling pests. Sometimes a non-chemical method of control is as effective and convenient as a chemical alternative. For many pests, total elimination is almost impossible, but it is possible to control them.  There are many things you  can do to help prevent and eliminate pests in and around the home without using pesticides.  Here are a few:

 MOISTURE CONTROL – Removing moisture that attracts pests
• Repair leaky roofs, faucets, pipes and appliances.
• Clean gutters and downspouts.
• Direct water away from the house.
• Eliminate standing water and water in outdoor containers.
• Ensure that crawlspaces have vents and a vapor barrier.

EXCLUSION – Sealing keeps pests out
• Seal foundation cracks and gaps where utility lines enter.
• Keep doors, windows and vents screened and well sealed.
• Keep exterior wood painted, stained or sealed.
• Seal items in storage. Store items in plastic, not cardboard.
• Before bringing in new items, inspect them for pests.

SANITATION – Cleaning removes food and hiding places
• Keep trash containers clean and tightly sealed.
• Keep foods in sealed containers.
• Don’t leave dog/cat food or birdseed out for long periods.
• Remove clutter and junk, indoors and out.
• Vacuum regularly.

PREVENTION – Making your home unattractive to pests
• Eliminate wood-to-ground contact.
• Use gravel or rock instead of wood mulch.
• Use concrete or plastic instead of wood landscape timbers.
• Keep plants trimmed and woodpiles away from house.
• Use yellow “bug lights” in exterior light fixtures