It’s National Cleaning Week and since many of you are probably deep in the midst of your spring cleaning anyway, we thought we’d collect some of our best cleaning tips for keeping away those pesky pests! You can add these into your spring cleaning regimen and keep them up all year round to help keep away those invasive Oklahoma pests:
- Always take out your trash and recycling promptly as rodents, roaches and ants are attracted to the smells of old food. Take anything particularly smelly, like rotten foods or meat packaging, outside immediately to avoid attracting pests.
- Wipe down counters and floors—and any other surfaces food or beverages have come in contact with—and make sure to wash all dishes or load them into the dishwasher soon after you are done eating. Be especially sure to wipe up sugary spills, like soda, jelly or ice cream, as pests are extremely attracted to sugar.
- Keep all food inside your refrigerator or, if keeping food on counters or in pantry, make sure it is well sealed in an airtight container. Pests have finely tuned senses of smell that can track down exposed food from a long distance.
- Make sure to finish older products before opening new ones to reduce the number of open containers for pests to potentially get into.
- Bathe all pets—indoor and outdoor—regularly to help reduce risks of fleas and check all outdoor pets for ticks at least once a week.
- Also, strongly consider preventative flea and tick medications from your veterinarian.
- If you have indoor cats, be sure to clean out their litter boxes regularly as well. Some insects will be attracted to the smell of waste. And be sure to clean up any accidents from cats or other indoor pets that happen outside of litter boxes promptly and consider carpet cleaning services if necessary.
- If you are moving any plants or flowers between inside and outside, make sure to check them for pests each time you bring them back inside. Lightly hose them down to get rid of any bugs hiding in flowers or on leaves before bringing them back into your home.
- The same goes for anything else that you move from outside to inside including patio furniture, welcome mats, firewood and tools. Inspect everything carefully before bringing back inside your home to reduce the risk of pests coming back inside with it.
- As you clean, look for any small holes in the exterior of your home that could be entrances for bugs and patch these up. Make sure to check cracks in your siding, small holes in window screens, gaps between doors and doorframes and openings around where utility lines enter your home. Most of these can be fixed with new window screens, spray foam and weather stripping.
- Also check for leaky pipes and faucets and fix any that you find as the moisture often attracts insects and rodents. If you frequently get water in your basement or crawlspace with heavy rains, you might also want to consider a dehumidifier.
- Be careful when bringing boxes down from the attic or up from the basement. Infrequently used boxes of decorations, linens, summer gear or other materials make perfect hiding places for mice and spiders. Consider taking these outside to unpack in case there are any unwanted guests hiding inside.
- Go through stacks of old papers including newspapers, magazines and other files and throw away or recycle and that are unwanted. Large stacks of paper often make a good hiding place for silverfish.
We hope these spring cleaning tips and tricks help you keep your home pest-free all year long! And if you see any of these creepy crawlies that we mentioned today—or any others—in your home, give us a call or visit our website to get started on your free, no-obligation evaluation. We’ll create a custom pest control plan to get rid of all your pest problems in no time! You can also call our trained pest control experts at any time with questions about pest control methods or pest prevention techniques. You can also find us on Twitter, Facebookand Google+ for more pest prevention tips and tricks.