Spring cleaning is still a thing, right? If you haven’t been following this time-honored tradition for switching the seasons, make this year a time for an all-out cleaning spree, from floor to ceiling and everywhere in between. Plan on spending a weekend – or two or three – scrubbing every surface you can reach, clearing the clutter, and changing your closet from coats to shorts. The urge for spring cleaning may even be a natural instinct. The longer nights of winter make us sluggish and slow, but with more hours of sunlight in the spring, we get energized. Where can we use this new enthusiasm? Spring cleaning!
At the same time you’re cleaning, you can check off another spring priority: protecting your home from pests. Rodents, cockroaches, ants, termites and all the other bugs who have been dormant all winter are on the move again with warmer weather. The good news is that it is easier to prevent their visits than fight a major infestation. As you clean, here are a few areas that need extra attention to pest-proof your home.
Those same doors that you use to come into your home, from the front entry way to the backyard, are wide-open freeways for pests. Inspect for any cracks or crevices along doorways and windows, and seal them up. As you continue your spring cleaning outside, look for cracks along your foundation and heating/air conditioning equipment.
In Arizona, bees and wasps, along with roaches and rodents, can find a way to get in those cracks. A tiny mouse can wiggle through a hole less than an inch high and insects can fit through an opening as small as a pencil point. Seal all entry points with silicone-based caulk.
We love to get together with family and friends in the kitchen, but don’t let bugs make your kitchen their gathering place. With lots of food and water available, kitchens are a great hang-out for pests. Spring cleaning is the time to stop them before they have time for a family reunion.
Empty your cabinets and pantry and throw out expired food items. Wipe down the shelves and cabinet walls and put down new shelf paper. Don’t make dining so easy for insects: empty your torn paper bags of flour, sugar, and other baking ingredients into canisters with tight lids. You don’t want to find mealworms or beetles when you want to bake a cake.
Remember that cockroaches like relaxing in those dark spaces under the sink and behind your appliances. Pull out the refrigerator away from the wall and vacuum the floor and wipe down the sides. Pull everything out of the sink space and wipe down with a damp sponge and clean cloths until all the grime is gone. Scrub all kitchen counters and the floor to get every last crumb hiding in a corner. Clean surfaces are the secret to pest-free kitchens.
Moisture attracts pesky spring pests, such as silverfish and cockroaches, and they can make a beeline for the bathroom. As you’re cleaning everything from your medicine cabinet to your shower curtains, take time to inspect for leaks under the sink and around toilet, shower, or bathtub. Empty the area under your sink and clean thoroughly before putting down new shelf paper. Make sure your faucets don’t leak – not only is the drip-drip-drip annoying, any standing water invites pests to take a swim.
With easy access under and around the door and lots of dark corners and clutter, pests can quickly make themselves at home in your garage and start reproducing. In Arizona, packrats, mice, scorpions, and spiders like to hide among cardboard boxes, garden tools, and home repair supplies. One benefit of spring cleaning is taking a hard look at all our stuff and reducing the clutter where possible. Keep what you want to keep in plastic bins with tight lids and toss the old cardboard boxes. Seal any cracks and crevices with caulk.
Spring is a good time to trim bushes and plants growing next to the house and to clear out any debris that could harbor termites, spiders, carpenter ants, and other pests. This is the season when they establish colonies. Bugs like moisture, so make sure you don’t have any stagnant standing water. Move construction materials and woodpiles away from the house; ideally store these things in watertight storage units away from your home and make sure they are not in direct contact with the soil. Trash cans should be sealed with tight lids to discourage rats and other varmints.
Pest Proof Your Home in Arizona
Call University Termite & Pest Control at 520-886-4146. Not only will our trained technicians take care of pest infestations, but they will also recommend and or Pest Proof your home to minimize pests in the future. With over 40 years of experience serving southern Arizona families and businesses, the professionals at University Termite & Pest Control are ready to protect your home. Call now to learn what you can do to keep your home healthy and safe from pests.