News


04/13/2010

Homeowners Prepare For an Active Spring Pest Season

Spring is the perfect time to say 'out with the old and in with the new.' The warmer temperatures and extra daylight provide a perfect setting for the annual rite of spring cleaning. As homeowners purge the remnants of winter and freshen up their homes, Arrow Exterminators' pest expert Shay Runion suggests taking a room-by-room approach to spring cleaning to discover and prevent pest infestations that could occur now or later in the year.

Kitchen: It's no surprise that the kitchen pantry is a popular place for pests to hide. Ants are among the most common pests to enter a kitchen, followed by cockroaches and moths. Each of these pests are known to feed on foods that have been left unsealed in pantries, including dried fruits, grains, seeds, nuts, chocolate, birdseed, and dog food. Beyond being a general nuisance, once these pests get into food they can cause contamination. Cockroaches, specifically, can carry E coli and salmonella on their bodies, which can be spread from food, to cooking equipment to countertops. As homeowners clean and organize their pantries for the upcoming warmer months, they should consider storing food in plastic or glass containers whenever possible, frequently wiping counters and emptying trash cans to keep these pests away.

Bedrooms and Bathrooms: Planning to reorganize your closets? Moths may be lurking in dark closets feeding on natural fabrics like silks, cotton, and wools. To eliminate moth larvae, and a potential problem later, make sure to wash and iron or dry-clean garments before storing them for the summer. Also be on the lookout for silverfish, commonly found in bedrooms bathrooms closets. These pests can damage synthetic fibers in clothing, books and other paper products. The bite marks of silverfish are usually irregular and may also leave behind yellow stains on linens. Because they can live a long period of time without food, it is important to get rid of them immediately before they lay eggs inside your home. Both moths and silverfish are attracted to moisture, so be sure to eliminate dampness by running fans or dehumidifiers picking up wet towels and drying out bath mats regularly.

Living Spaces: While food and moisture may draw pests to other parts of your home, living spaces like family rooms, living rooms and basements are by no means off limits. In homes with pets, fleas can be found on dog beds and cat climbing posts. Additionally, mice can settle in behind floorboards and under furniture. Keeping spaces crumb-free by removing discarded snacks and sweeping and vacuuming floors and under furniture regularly can help discourage pests from making themselves at home. Consider spring a good time to clean and groom pets and to update their flea-prevention treatments.

Outdoors: Spring cleaning and proper pest-proofing the outside of your home can also discourage pests such as cockroaches, termites and mosquitoes from coming inside. Keeping garbage areas clean and receptacles tightly closed, eliminating sources of moisture and standing water, sealing cracks and small openings along the foundation; and cutting branches and other plants back away from the house will help prepare your yard for spring.

"There are so many pests that can enter the home this time of year," said Runion. "The spring cleaning most homeowners undertake should include the necessary steps to identify unwanted pests and the conditions that welcome them inside. Even the smallest crack in a foundation can provide an easy opening for pests, making a top-to-bottom spring cleaning evaluation of your home very important."


Arrow protects homes from pests with the STEPSâ„¢ Total Protection System, an industry-leading process that utilizes Integrated Pest Management. STEPS includes a full inspection of home and property to pinpoint pest control issues; identification of not only the pest, but the true cause of the problem; and treatment in the most environmentally responsible way to alleviate current issues and help prevent any future recurrence.
Consumers interested in protecting their homes from pests can obtain additional information or view photos at Arrow's Online Pest Guide www.arrowexterminators.com or contact Arrow for a free whole home evaluation at 1-888-462-7769.