During the summer, it’s common for many of us to pack our bags and take a vacation. But before leaving, we should make it a point to properly bug-proof our homes so we don’t return to any infestations. If you’re wondering how to do this, here are five tips to keep your Clearwater, Florida, home bug-free while you’re away.

Clean Your Home Before You Leave

Before you head out the door, make sure you clean your home — and clean it thoroughly. This means wiping down kitchen counters, emptying garbage cans, sweeping and vacuuming floors, washing dishes, and putting away all food items. Cockroaches love paper, so clear clutter and dispose of unnecessary magazines, newspapers, and documents. If you’re feeling handy, you can also clean clogged gutters, fix any leaky pipes, and move landscaping bricks away from your home. This will eliminate potential bug sites and ensure that no ants, roaches, or other visitors crawl into your home while you’re out of town.

Be on the Lookout

Although bugs are sneaky, it is possible to spot them and find their hiding places before they become a problem. Look out for tell-tale warning signs. Ants often send “scouts” to investigate new areas, so if you notice one or two ants walking inside your home, it may be a sign that more are on their way. You should also check for warning signs outside of your home. Firewood and standing water tend to attract ants, termites, and mosquitoes, so store wood at least 20 feet from your house and dry out any sitting water. If you notice large quantities of bugs hanging around your yard, consider a lawn spraying or termite control treatment.

Close Doors and Windows

Make it a point to tightly seal your home before you leave for your trip. Remember: bugs can’t get in if there are no openings. Walk through your home and close all windows, window screens, and doors. You can take it a step further and ensure that all vents, pipes, chimneys, and roof shingles are closed and sealed. You can also repair loose weatherstripping and caulk any noticeable cracks. Although it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to close every opening, by addressing some of them you’ll be able to keep most insects outside where they belong.

Encourage Natural Predators

Bugs have many natural predators that include birds and bats — both of which rely on a wide variety of bugs for food. Warblers and swallows, for example, eat mosquitoes and other small insects, while bats eat wasps, flies, spiders, mosquitoes, and more. Together, these animals can help you effectively control pests in and around your home. The key is to attract them.

Do you have lots of trees and bushes in your yard? If so, you should have no problem enticing these animals to visit. Start by installing a birdhouse, bird bath, bat house, roost, or nectar feeder in your yard. As more birds and bats visit, they’ll feed on the insects around your home and keep them from invading the inside.

Have Your Home Inspected

If you want to be sure your house stays bug-free while you’re away, call a pest control professional and have your home inspected. These experts have the knowledge and equipment to identify existing or potential pest problems, and they can take immediate action. If they notice the presence of specific household pests, they can place baited traps in cracks, crevices, and entryways, treat the exterior of your home so no additional pests get inside, and install pest monitoring stations.

Calling a professional is always better than using store-bought sprays, as these may only mask the problem. Professional chemicals are effective yet environmentally safe. Plus, they’re odorless and less toxic than other pest control chemicals.

Keeping your home bug-free while you go on vacation is easy. Just follow these five simple tips, and you’ll ensure that no unwanted guests greet you when you return home. If you’d like to learn more about which pest control services are right for you, call J.D. Smith Pest Control today at 727-483-5797.   

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