Our Eco Health Tips – Warm Season Anti Pest Preparation
Spring and Summer are on their way and so are some pest species. Prepare the exterior of your home or business before these unwanted visitors arrive. Habitat modification is a highly effective tool you can implement to make your property less desirable to a variety of pests. No two sites are the same; however the majority of homes we inspect have what we call the “Big Six”.
- Mulch is an excellent harborage for insects, providing them with food, shelter and moisture. Although a plethora of inorganic mulches are available, studies show the lowest populations of insects were observed around homes with bare soil next to the foundation. If you must have mulch, try and pull it away back 18”-24” from the foundation and leave a border of crushed stone directly against the foundation.
- Wood to ground contact must be eliminated. All siding, clapboards and lattice work needs to be several inches above the soil. This will reduce the risk of rot and insect infestations.
- Overhanging tree limbs should be pruned back several feet. Over time wet leaves falling will cause wood to decay and gutters to clog. Branches also create “highways” to the structure for insects and wildlife, such as ants, raccoons and squirrels.
- Vegetation such as shrubs, ivy and other plants will continue to hold moisture long after rain stops, Therefore we recommend they be pruned back away from the siding, a minimum of 18’’. This will help prevent rotting, reduce harborage, and provide access for regular inspections.
- Gutters must be kept free of leaves and debris to allow water flow through the downspouts. Leaking seams must be repaired to help prevent soffits and fascia boards from rotting. Installing extensions to the downspouts will help channel water away from the structure. Consider installing anti clogging product such as LeafDefier to prevent clogging, water buildup and wood decay.
- Firewood and scrap wood should not be stored in the basement or garage. Underneath decks and porches must remain free of wood and debris to eliminate harborage sites for insects, rodents and wildlife. All wood should be moved away from the home, kept dry and off the ground on a rack, cement pad or block to minimize wood to soil contact.
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