When it comes to yard work the list never seems to end. Cut the grass, trim the bushes on the front of the house, water the plants – the list can be as long an Argentine ant trail but that’s another story all together!
Pests from ants to termites are primarily outdoor dwellers until circumstances – the need for food, water, shelter and to avid cold weather – drive them to look indoors for these vital necessities. And while insects do play a vital role in our ecosystem we don’t want to make it easier for disease-transmitting, destructive pests to invade your living space.
One of the ways to discourage pest harborage in your yard is to make sure regular maintenance and care is performed. Cutting the grass, trimming bushes and trees, and cleaning up leaves and brush not only give your yard more curb appeal but make it less attractive to pests seeking to gain access to the comforts of your living space.
For example, a firewood pile stored next to your house is an attractant not only for mice but for termites and other wood-destroying insects that will take a free ride inside when you go to build the first of the season this fall.
And tree limbs that rest on the roof of your house provide easy access to ants, rodents and other pests looking to gain entry through your attic – a common entry point for pests into a home.
The last thing the Clark Man wants to do is add another item to your to do list but he does offer the following pest prevention tips that can be done while you are taking care of your yard:
- Keep tree limbs trimmed and from coming into contact with the roof; tree limbs make an ideal expressway to your house for ants and other pests.
- Trim your shrubs and don’t let the grass grow high; pests including rodents, fleas, spiders, cockroaches and ants enjoy the “cover” overgrown shrubs and grass provide.
- Do not overdo it with the mulch near your home’s foundation; mulch retains moisture and thus makes an ideal harborage for destructive termites, ants and other pests looking to make your home their home. Maintain a mulch-free barrier of stone or dirt at least 18-inches from the foundation.
- Avoid excessive moisture or standing water in your yard; pests of all types love moisture and standing water is an invitation for mosquitoes. Fix leaky exterior faucets or broken irrigation systems, empty out the bird bath and do not over-water the lawn.
- Clean up leaves and brush around the foundation of your home and in the yard. These give pests, especially mice, a convenient harborage location.
- Do not let downed trees or rotting wood lay around your yard – it is an attractant to termites and carpenter ants.
- Store firewood away from the house and off the ground to keep termites, wood-destroying insects and other pests from inhabiting it and hitching a ride inside.
If you are having issues with pests in your yard, call 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, I’m the Clark Man and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.