Common spring pests and how to keep them out
As the weather gets warmer, homeowners should be aware of unwelcome guests that may try to make their way into homes — bugs.
During the springtime, pests like ants, bees, spiders, stink bugs and rodents are known to infest homes as they come out of hibernation.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, try pest prevention first:
• Remove sources of food, water and shelter.
• Store food in sealed plastic or glass containers.
• Garbage containing food scraps should be placed in tightly covered trash cans. Remove garbage regularly from your home.
• Fix leaky plumbing and don’t let water accumulate anywhere in the home.
• Don’t let water collect in trays under your house plants or refrigerator.
• Don’t leave pet food and water out overnight.
• Clutter provides places for pests to breed and hide and makes it hard to get rid of them. Get rid of things like stacks of newspapers, magazines, or cardboard.
• Close off places where pests can enter and hide. For example, caulk cracks and crevices around cabinets or baseboards. Use steel wool to fill spaces around pipes. Cover any holes with wire mesh.
If pests are already a problem, use sticky-traps and baits in closed containers or try other types of non-chemical management.
Other measures, like hiring a professional pest control service, can be taken to prevent or resolve pest infestations.
Rid-O-Vit is a family-owned pest control company based in Remsen that has been in operation since 2006. Brian Johnson, owner of Rid-O-Vit, said he does a lot of prevention work as spring approaches.
“If you do the preventative and the problem doesn’t occur, then there’s one less headache,” Johnson said. “Or you can wait until you start to see something, and then you can stop it before it gets out of control.”
Johnson said that as the owner of a local company, he prioritizes affordability and making the customer experience the best that it can be.
But if you do attempt to do it yourself, Johnson says it’s most important to be safe and to read the label of the chemicals.
“Read how to apply the chemical, how to lay the chemical out without affecting other things, or people, animals, and stuff like that,” Johnson said. “Nothing hurts people trying it themselves, just be educated on how to use the material.”
The EPA offers these tips on how to safely and correctly use pesticides.
• Keep pets and children away from areas where pesticides have been applied.
• After preventive steps have been taken, you can use baits as a first line of chemical defense against insects or rodents. Pesticides not contained in baits or traps should generally only be applied to targeted locations, not sprayed over the whole room.
• Use fogging devices only when absolutely necessary.
• Always read and follow the pesticide label’s instructions and safety warnings. Using too much of a pesticide can endanger your family’s health.
• Use ready-to-use products (i.e., no mixing needed) whenever possible.
• Read the label to find out how to dispose of the pesticide and the container.
• Don’t use outdoor chemicals indoors.
• Store pesticides in their original containers and don’t use empty pesticide containers to store anything else. Children and others have been poisoned by accidentally consuming pesticides stored in food or beverage containers. No matter how well you wash the container, it could still contain remnants of the pesticide and could harm someone.
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