As homeowners put their yards to bed for the winter, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) points out that fall yard and garden maintenance is key to winter pest prevention.
Mannes points out that pests have preferences very similar to humans — in the winter, they want to come inside for the warmth and easier access to food.
Fall yard maintenance does not have to be a time-consuming and tedious task. There are simple steps that every homeowner can take to protect their home from many insects and pests. NPMA offers the following advice:
- Clean out gutters thoroughly after the majority of leaves have fallen.
- Avoid letting trash pile up in outside bins.
- Remove old tires from the yard that can fill up with water and provide a breeding ground for pests.
- Pull back or remove shrubs and tree branches from the side of the house and roof, which serve as pathways into the home and food sources for ants, scorpions, rats, mice and other unwanted pests.
- Stack firewood and lumber away from the house to eliminate harborage for rodents, spiders and centipedes.
- Keep up on home-repairs, such as restoring loose shingles and rotted boards, which can attract pests — including carpenter ants.
- Pull soil or mulch back from the foundation of the house to prevent termites.
“If pests have already entered the home or there is a serious infestation, homeowners should contact a pest professional to prevent, manage and eliminate infestations,” advises Mannes.