What can you do when spring weather brings damp basements and the creepy crawlies that love them?
We look forward to warm spring weather all winter. However, thawing soil and spring rains can drive pests into your home. Take control of spring moisture pests with tips from our pest prevention experts.
Controlling moisture in your home’s foundation is the key to keeping out spring pests
Seeing a four-inch centipede scurry across the floor can be startling. The good news is, spring bugs like sow bugs and centipedes don’t cause harm. However, they can be a warning sign of a problem in the home. Also, they can be a sign of a larger pest infestation that they are attracted to for food. While over-the-counter products may help, treating the entire perimeter of your home requires a large amount, and only provides a temporary solution. Taking steps now to eliminate the conditions that attract these pests will prevent future problems.
How do I prevent spring moisture pests?
- Remove hiding places and food sources
- Keep window wells free of debris like leaf litter.
- Don’t allow material like wood mulch or firewood close to your home’s foundation.
- Avoid low growing landscape plants near the foundation.
- Address moisture issues
- Install gutters and downspouts to carry water away from the foundation.
- Install a dehumidifier in the house below ground level.
- Don’t allow water to collect in empty containers such as buckets or trays.
- Seal cracks, crevices, and other potential pest entry points
- Winter freezing and thawing can make new cracks around windows, doors, and the foundation.
Facts about spring insects:
- What kinds are common?
- Do they sting or bite?
- No, unless a centipede is provoked or squished.
- Where might you find them?
- They will always be near moisture.
- Damp basements, leaf clutter in window wells, and low growing vegetation make ideal hideouts.
- Why do they move indoors in the spring?
- To escape outdoor spring temperatures.
- They may overwinter in your home and become active due to warming temperatures.
- Predators may also follow insects they like to eat indoors.
How can I prevent future pest problems?
Hire a pest prevention professional to evaluate and correct any problems. Certainly, taking action now is worth it for future peace of mind. For example, smaller pests like carpenter ants may soften wood or make holes that become easy entry points for rodents. These tips will not only help you control spring pests, they can help improve whole house health.
How can I learn more?
- Insect identification:
- What insect is this? From University of Minnesota Extension: http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/diagnose/insect/
- Landscaping best practices to prevent pests:
- This Summer Prevent Pests by Reducing Moisture Outside of Your Home, The EPA blog July 2015: https://blog.epa.gov/blog/2015/07/this-summer-prevent-pests-by-reducing-moisture-outside-of-your-home/