When we think of spring, we don’t always extend our efforts to the backyard. However, there are some simple steps that you can take on the exterior of the structure that will help to reduce the likelihood of pests invading this spring.
Removing the old leaves that have collected against the foundation of your home, under the deck, and inside the window wells will eliminate potential hiding and feeding places for many occasional invaders like millipedes, ants, sowbugs and beetles. Leaves trap moisture and provide food for pests that feed on them as they decay.
Improper drainage around the foundation of a structure can result in standing water which can be attractive to many different pests. Mosquitoes are especially troublesome in locations where manmade pools of standing water are present. Some species, like the Asian tiger mosquito, specialize in locating and identifying temporary breeding locations and can deposit eggs in water sources as small as a bottle cap. The adult mosquito will lay its eggs in stagnant water like bird baths, clogged gutters, unused flower pots and other containers in the backyard. The larvae develop rapidly and breeding populations of these daytime biting mosquitoes can become established on a property very quickly.
Weeds around the foundation of the house can provide access to the building, hide evidence of infestation and trap moisture. Even though it might not be time to mow the entire lawn, the weeds adjacent to the foundation may need to be trimmed to eliminate this pest friendly environment. Vegetation next to the foundation can also make it difficult for termite inspectors to get a close look at the foundation wall, which is primary access point for termites to enter a structure.
It might go without saying, but any debris that is lying in the yard can become a harborage area for insects like ants, crickets, sowbugs, and even rodents. Rats will often dig burrows beneath piles of debris because it provides shelter from predators. Firewood and brush piles should be relocated as far from the structure as practical. Ants like odorous house ants and acrobat ants will often nest beneath pieces of wood or other discarded items. Even termites can be attracted to wood scraps and firewood that is stored adjacent to a structure.
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