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Experts Agree Spring Cleaning Can Help Control Pests

Orkin Shares Tips to Protect Homes From Spiders, Cockroaches and Carpenter Bees

The first day of spring has come and gone, but what about the dust and grime that built up over the winter? A thorough spring cleaning inside and outside homes is more than just a dirt- and clutter-buster. Orkin experts confirm it can help protect homes from common spring pests, including spiders, cockroaches and carpenter bees.

“After a stormy winter with consistently cool weather, warmth- and moisture-seeking pests will become more active and visible across the U.S. as temperatures rise,” said Ron Harrison, Ph.D., Orkin technical director. “As homeowners clean out closets and replace window screens, they should look for areas around their homes that can offer pests moisture, food and access.”

Both cockroaches and spiders can enter homes through small cracks and crevices and then hide in low traffic areas. Diligent cleaners may find spiders in dark, damp basements and crawl spaces, or drier, warmer areas near air vents and attics, depending on the species. While most spiders are not aggressive, they often are a warning sign that other pests they eat, including cockroaches, may be inside the home. Cockroaches typically are found near water and food sources in kitchen, laundry, bathroom and storage areas. Cockroaches are known to reproduce quickly — for each one you see, many more could be hiding behind the walls.

“When spring cleaning, if an item is worth saving, it also is worth protecting from humidity, dust and pests,” said Laura Ray, owner of Laura Ray Organizing and member of the National Association of Professional Organizers. “Simple changes like switching from cardboard to plastic storage containers and keeping items off the floor can help homeowners get organized and reduce pest activity.”

Outside of homes, Orkin experts suggest homeowners look for signs of wood damage as they clean out gutters and trim landscaping. Wood-destroying pests, including carpenter bees, can burrow into exposed, dry wood in homes, decks and fence posts. Homeowners may mistake carpenter bee damage for termite damage. Carpenter bee damage often appears as 1/2-inch holes in raw, painted or stained wood.

As homeowners tackle indoor and outdoor spring cleaning, Harrison recommends focusing on the following steps to help prevent pest activity:

  • Reduce moisture sources. Leaky faucets indoors and downspouts outdoors offer the water spiders, cockroaches and other pests need to survive.
  • Remove food temptations. Food debris left behind in grocery bags can provide a meal for pests. Carpenter bees, termites and wood-boring beetles are known to damage untreated wood around homes and yards.
  • Toss the clutter. Old keepsakes and unused equipment piled up in basements and garages can conceal pest entry points and offer shelter.

For a video with more cleaning tips to reduce spring pest activity, visit use http://www.orkin.com/ask-the-orkin-man/spring-cleaning.

About Orkin, LLC

Founded in 1901, Atlanta-based Orkin is an industry leader in essential pest control services and protection against termite damage, rodents and insects in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Central America, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Asia and the Mediterranean. With more than 400 locations, Orkin’s almost 8,000 employees serve approximately 1.7 million customers. The company serves homeowners and numerous industries including food and beverage processing, foodservice, hospitality, healthcare, retail, warehousing, property/facilities management, schools and institutions. Learn more about Orkin on our Web site at www.orkin.com. Orkin is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rollins, Inc. (NYSE: ROL).