Spring Cleaning Is a Good Time to Prevent Potential Health Hazards
Article authored by Lana K. Wilson-Combs, Consumer Connection staff
After a cold, dreary, dark, and damp winter, most people are eager for the arrival of spring. Many insects are, too.
As the weather gets warmer, pests begin to come out of winter hiding and multiply. However, the last place you want to see ants, cockroaches, spiders, earwigs, bedbugs, termites, or other insects is in your home.
Now is a great time for homeowners, perhaps in the midst of spring cleaning, to add some simple, preventative pest-proofing measures to that “to-do” list. Or if the job seems too daunting, seek out licensed and skilled professionals in the pest control industry.
Pests carry a wide range of diseases, from Lyme disease to Zika. They can also carry bacteria that can contaminate food, equipment, and other stored products. Rodents can harbor and spread more than 200 human pathogens. Each year in the U.S., termites cause $5 billion in property damage (to homes and businesses). Mosquitos have become one of the deadliest pests worldwide as they cause roughly 1 million deaths per year.
Let’s face it: Insects are a part of nature, but those pesky pests don’t have to be part of your home and ruin your spring and summer fun—or health.
Here are some steps you can take to help ward off those creepy-crawlies:
- Remove dead leaves, twigs, and debris that may have built up in your yard over the winter. These are perfect homes for bugs and insects!
- Trim trees or bushes near your home; make sure to cut back any branches that touch your house, as they can serve as a walkway for bugs to enter.
- Clean your gutters.
- Fill in any cracks or gaps in windows, doorways, and the foundation (if it’s accessible).
- Clean your kitchen thoroughly to remove any tempting food crumbs.
- Clean out cluttered storage areas where pests can hide.
- Repair any leaky pipes or fixtures; many bugs are looking for a water source.
Remember, it’s much easier to prevent a pest control problem than to stop one. However, if you discover your home has an infestation, call a licensed pest control professional.
To verify the status and license of a pest control business with the Structural Pest Control Board, log on to search.dca.ca.gov.