Not quite home alone with pests

Sep 18, 2020, 11:10 AM by Fred Speer

With more employers extending work-from-home policies, or making them permanent, our kitchen tables are turning into classrooms, and our pantries are getting stocked more fully. We are eating at home much more often. So the likelihood of pests being present in our homes could be greater.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned during this pandemic, it’s this: Pests don’t observe social distancing. They remain focused on their own needs, and those needs can often be found inside your home.

This increase in at-home activities – more meal prep, more trash being generated, and deliveries of groceries and other staples – aligns nicely with a pest’s view of the world.

Pests are adaptable creatures, and pest pressure remains strong in September for a variety of potential household invaders. These include cockroaches, ants, rodents, drywood termites, and fleas. Their adaptability and constant need to identify new sources of food and shelter fuels their drive to gain access your home.

Clark, your friendly pest control, termite, and lawn care expert, would like to help you prevent pests from becoming a nuisance or a threat – e.g., cockroaches, which can transmit a number of bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses – while you go about your new home-centric routine.

Cleaning is essential

Good sanitation is good pest prevention. The number-one factor that attracts pests is inadequate sanitation. Leftover food crumbs or spills in the kitchen, bedroom, or home office will attract pests, including mice, ants, and cockroaches.

With more hands around the house to help, make sure you clean up after cooking, and that those extra cereal bowls or open bags of pretzels aren’t left on a nightstand, coffee table, or makeshift desk where they could be attracting hungry pests.

Take out the trash on a regular basis, and make sure you close the lid. A garbage can filled with food waste, with a loose-fitting lid, is an open invitation to pests. And don’t forget about your recycling bins: Bottles and cans with sugary and other residues will attract pests, especially ants and cockroaches.

Your household pets are not exempt, either. Pet food is a particularly sought-after food source for mice, among other pests, and picking up feeding dishes and keeping food in sealed containers is a must.

Remove clutter

Pests like clutter in a home. It gives them a place to set up shop. With more people using delivery services for everything from takeout pizza to shampoo, the amount of discarded cardboard and plastic containers is mounting. Don’t let boxes pile up in the garage, or outside the back door, unless you would like pests to move in. And before you bring those packages inside, give them a quick visual examination for signs of pest activity. Pests are opportunists, and if you give them an easy-in, they’ll take it – and  you may never know they did until it’s too late.

Keeping kitchens, home offices, bedrooms, and garages clutter-free gives pests fewer potential hiding spots, and you’ll have less pest-related headaches.

Pay Attention to the spaces outside your home

Most pest threats don’t start inside your home. They begin outdoors, in your yard. By staying on top of simple maintenance tasks, including cutting your lawn regularly, trimming overgrown shrubs, keeping tree branches off the roof (which offer rodents an easy way to access your attic), and repairing dripping faucets or irrigation systems (because pests need moisture to survive), you can reduce pest pressure.

Clark Pest Control remains committed to safeguarding your home from pests during these uncertain times. Our service technicians use personal protective equipment – gloves, masks, and respirators – and practice social distancing, they deploy call-ahead notifications, and they adhere strictly to all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines when servicing inside or outside your home.

If you’re experiencing problems with pests in or around your home, call or text California’s trusted, friendly pest management expert, Clark, at (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or email us at

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