Warm weather and early rains are bringing out pests, and entomologists say they are already beginning to see significant activity among termite swarms in San Diego County.
Jesse Quiroz of the HomeTeam Pest Defense said the most prominent pests in Imperial Beach during this time of the year are rodents and German roaches.
He offers five tips and tools for pest-proofing homes this spring.
- Eliminate water sources. All pests look for a source of water. Fix dripping taps and leaking pipes to remove the water and humidity that pests, including mosquitoes, termites and ants, need to survive. To prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your yard, dump anything that holds water every 48 hours. Remember to empty the saucers under your flower pots, and don't leave water in pet bowls for more than two days. Even the smallest amount of water held in a leaf or bottle cap can be enough for mosquitoes to breed.
- Seal potential entry points. Pests such as ants, spiders and mosquitoes find their way indoors through cracks and crevices around doors, walls and windows.
- Turn off outdoor lights at night, or replace standard outdoor lights with yellow bug lights. Minimizing lighting outside your home will reduce the overall number of pests that swarm around your home.
- If you store firewood, move it away from your home (and always wear gloves when reaching into dark places). Firewood can be a good hiding place for rodents, spiders and termites, so the further from your house the better.
- Cut back tree branches and bushes to keep pests away from the side of your house and roof. There should be at least a one foot gap between vegetation and your house.
He also suggests purchasing five items to pest-proof your home: a flashlight to identify holes and droppings, caulk to seal cracks, door sweeps to keep pests out, a brush with a long handle to sweep spider webs and yellow bug lights to help detract pests.
What tips do you have for keeping your home free from pests? Tell us in the comments.