HOW TO REDUCE PEST AROUND THE HOME WITHOUT PESTICIDE
Winter time brings lots of special pest challenges based on the changing tempetures and the pest that increase activity. Rodents, ants and other common pest will look for easy access to your home. As an organic pest control company, I get asked a lot how to reduce pest around the home without pesticide? I’ve shared many tips in the past and have posted a homeowner guide on our website, but I would like to go into a couple areas that are typically overlooked.
We all love our gardens and landscape designs around our homes, but have you thought about how location, water, growth, fruit, and weed control barriers affect your pest control? Sure you could “plant” cement all around your home and that would certainly reduce pest activity. But who wants a concrete jungle around their home anyways. So how can we have the best of both worlds without compromising our safety and risk damage to our home? Knowing a little about pests can sure help when you are planning landscape design.
Access is a key element, especially rodents finding their way in to your home. Trees can be one of the biggest points of access, especially when the trees are close to the home. Rats can jump 4 feet vertically to a roofs edge and can drop many times that without being hurt, so keeping trees trimmed back and away from structures will certainly help with rats, squirrels, ants and other pest from having an easy access. If you are thinking about planting any large trees around the house, remember to think down the road once these trees become established. The damage that a poorly placed tree can be not only a pest haven, but can cause catastrophic damage to roofs through adverse weather, pest (beetles) infestations that weaken the limbs and lift walkways, foundations and bust sewer lines, which all can be access and harborage points for all kinds of critters. Keeping gutters clean will also help reduce “aerial nest” of pest.
Keep shrubs and bushes at least 2 feet from any wood windows, and siding. Plants need water and water doesn’t mix well with wood. Automatic sprinkler systems are great but need constant monitoring. Many watering plans water more non-growth areas than green and this is not just a waste of money and water, but it creates additional problems. Water constantly hitting stucco walls creates a warm, wet interior wall that can promote mold and pest harborage for many insects such as termites and carpenter ants. Overwatering and off site application also creates puddles which promotes many unnecessary problems. This time of the year you should be reducing the frequency of your programmed sprinkler system. Most homeowners don’t make the changes and this keeps the grounds saturated, so when rains come the property floods and pest “move” to a more suitable site, such as your pantry or bathrooms. How many times have you seen sprinklers going off in the rain or on days that known rain is in the forecast?
It’s a great idea to walk around your home monthly to look for and identify conditions that would be conducive to harborage and access. You would want to check screens and door weather stripping for possible repair or replacement. Remember, pests are opportunist and will find their way in your home through many access points. If you have a concern, don’t hesitate to contact us.