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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, August 14, 2020

Keep those creepy, unwanted summer guests away




Social distancing this summer might be preventing visitors in your home, but there are some guests that are always unwelcome in the Tennessee Valley – ants, ticks, roaches, rats and termites, to name just a few. Not only are pest infestations a nuisance, they can also contaminate food, sickening you and your family, and cause extensive property damage.

The National Pest Management Association recently reported that pest behaviors are changing due to people spending more time at home this year. As families generate more food and waste at home, pest encounters are becoming much more common.

Here are some steps you can take to help keep your home pest-free.

Inside your home

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends a few things you can do inside your house to control future infestations.

Keep food stored: Make sure no food is left out in the kitchen without being covered or placed in a sealed plastic or glass container. If you have food waste in a garbage can outside your home, make sure it has a tightly covered lid.

Fix leaky plumbing: Some pests, such as cockroaches, can survive a long time without food, but need water more often to survive. Check your home for leaky faucets, radiators, dishwashers and washing machines, and make repairs.

Declutter and caulk cracks. Piles of newspapers, magazines or cardboard are havens for pests, so it’s best to remove them. Identify and seal cracks and openings along baseboards, behind sinks and around pipes and windows. Critters like to hide in crevasses.

Outside your home

Pests enter your home from the outside, so you will also need to prepare the exterior of your house to keep pests out.

Check delivery items: Inspect all packages for pests before bringing them into your home.

Repair exterior damage: Look for cracks and holes on the outside of your home and seal them up. Be sure to include points where utility lines enter the house. Head up to the roof to look for any rotted or decaying shingles.

Remove debris: Sticks or firewood piles should be neatly stacked away from the house and off the ground to avoid attracting rodents.

Consultation with a pest control expert can answer many of your questions and concerns. Search the online directory of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga at www.HBAGC.net to find a professional in the Tri-state area.