Home and Landscaping Conditions That Can Attract Pests

While a perfectly manicured lawn, trimmed hedges and water features around your home can increase its curb appeal and property value, it could also welcome a variety of pests. Here are a few helpful tips to consider for your home.

Mulch – Mulch is an excellent way to add a finishing touch to landscaping and retains moisture to the benefit of flowers, shrubs and trees, but these pros can also bring cons. High moisture content in mulch can attract pests like cockroaches, millipedes and termites, so opting for an alternative like cedar that retains less moisture and repels a variety of insects or rubber for long-term usability can reduce the chances for insects to find a welcoming environment.

Plant Selection – While adding pops of color to your landscape in the form of flowers can make your home appear more inviting, their blooms can also attract insects. Plants that bear a significant amount of nectar or produce nuts or berries can be a food source for pests. Strategic selection of plants like marigolds, geraniums and chrysanthemums that have been known to repel insects like mosquitoes, aphids, roaches, fleas and ticks could assist in reducing pest activity.

Standing Water – Water features like birdbaths, fountains and koi ponds may be a home oasis, but they can also serve as the breeding ground for some bugs – specifically, mosquitoes. Mosquitoes develop and lay their eggs in standing water, so regularly changing or emptying the water in containers and creating ways for water to move rather than remain still can significantly deter mosquito development and completion of their reproduction cycle.

Cracks – Over time, homes will develop cracks, gaps and holes due to weather conditions and natural ground shifts, which are the prime openings pests such as cockroaches, ants and rats can use to enter your home. Perform regular checks of your home’s foundation and window or door openings for cracks and take appropriate action to seal these areas with a weather-resistant sealant.

Lights – For night-flying insects, light is the main driver for how they navigate the world, which is why we see all manner of flies and moths attracted to exterior lighting at our homes. The color of light and heat also play a factor in what insects see, so switching exterior fixtures to yellow bulbs or less hot LED options could reduce the number of lost flyers you see at your doorstep. Exercise caution when using LED bulbs, since the light waves produced by certain LED bulbs are known to be more attractive to mosquitoes than standard incandescent household light bulbs. Before making a decision to replace lights, be sure to contact your pest management professional for suggestions and recommendations.

Wood Piles – When landscaping, it can be easy to discard broken branches and cut limbs into wood piles for easy cleanup, but when these mounds of material are left in place for extended periods of time, they can harbor many insects and pests. Spiders, ants, termites, and even snakes and rats make their homes in these types of wooded conditions. Ensure that wood piles, tree stumps and other loosely packed materials such as rock piles and lumber piles are discarded promptly from your property.

Distance – Dense shrubs, bushes and trees close to the home may look nice, but they can also provide a home to pests. Ensuring that tree limbs don’t hang over roofs or touch the house can help prevent pests like ants, spiders and rats from entering your home. Regularly trim shrubs and bushes, and be careful not to plant them too close to your home for the same reason. Installing a gravel strip barrier along the perimeter of your home can help deter a variety of crawling insects from gaining entry. Make sure the gravel barrier isn’t too thick and is no more that about 2-3 inches deep.

If pests become a bigger problem in and around your home, contact your local Orkin professional for a free estimate and a customized a plan that’s right for you.

“How To Prevent Insects With a Perimeter Treatment” Bayer Advanced

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