Avoid Pests When You Get the Spring Cleaning Bug

As you thaw out from winter and nature springs back to life with warm sunlight and blossoming flowers, you’ll likely pack away your scarves and heavy coats for the year. Changes in temperature prompt many to begin cleaning and preparing themselves for the warmer months ahead.

It’s important to remember that pests will be readying themselves for the warm weather, too. You can expect to see an increase in spiders, ants, centipedes, pantry pests such as Indian meal moths, and stinging pests such as bees and wasps as the temperature increases. These pests usually thrive in temperatures above 60 degrees.

“When cleaning, you have a great opportunity to prevent pest problems before they occur,” says Orkin, Inc. entomologist Ron Harrison, Ph.D. “Pests that have been dormant during the cold months can become more active with increased temperatures, and homeowners can take many steps while cleaning to guard against infestations.”

Warm-weather pests are more than just a nuisance, as they present potential health risks for you and your family. Stinging insects such as bees and wasps pose a risk for humans through toxic reactions to their venom and through allergic reactions. Spiders, such as the black widow and brown recluse, possess poisonous glands that can cause skin irritation, nerve damage and infection. Pantry pests carry harmful bacteria that can contaminate food and products on your shelves.

Welcoming in the sunshine doesn’t have to mean welcoming in spring pests, too. Take the following steps while cleaning to help prevent problems in and around your home:

  • Seal interior and exterior cracks in and around your home

  • Keep ventilation systems clear and running.

  • Vacuum regularly. You can use a vacuum to remove spiders and their webs as well as other pests and debris.

  • Clean pantries and closets thoroughly, picking up excess food and removing any products that have been sitting on shelves for several months. Keep all food containers and non-perishables tightly sealed.

  • Pick up pet food at night. Don’t feed pets outdoors.

  • Wipe down all counters, wash dirty dishes and remove trash daily to avoid accumulation of any remnants of food that may lure pests. Your crumbs can be a feast to hungry pests.

For more information, please visit www.orkin.com or call (800) 800-ORKIN.

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