Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, June 11, 2021

Don’t roll out welcome mat for pests

Summers are meant for enjoying the outdoors, cookouts and time with family and friends. However, no one wants to share their summer with ants, mosquitoes, snakes, rodents, bees, bats, raccoons and other pests.

Homeowners often invite these unwelcome guests to be a part of their summer activities but with some common oversights they can easily alleviate them.

“If homeowners take a walk around the perimeter of their house, they can often find free or cheap ways to avoid inviting pests inside,” says Clay Cochran of Northwest Exterminating. “Many people don’t think about it, but something as simple as cutting a branch that touches a third-floor wall will remove an access point for ants to enter your home.”

Cochran continues with some simple fixes homeowners can do to help alleviate summer pests.

“Remove standing water to keep mosquitoes away,” Cochran says. “Birdbaths, toys and the bottoms of plants can also be breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and even a bottle cap of water can allow mosquitoes to breed in the thousands.

“Also, keep your grass short, trim your bushes, clear piles of wood and debris and seal cracks and gaps around your home to deter snakes and pests.”

Food is another big motivator in attracting pests and wildlife, Cochran adds.

To keep pests and wildlife out of your home and yard, here are some other suggestions:

• Use tightly-sealed and secured trash cans

• Double bag any meats you put into the trashcan

• Store pet food in sealed containers and bring your pets’ food and water bowls inside nightly

• Pick up any fallen birdseed around your home and yard

• Keep your counters clean, floors swept and throw away overripened fruits and vegetables

• Keep fruit off the ground if you have fruit trees

• Wash your dirty dishes

• Don’t let garbage pile up

• Finally, don’t wait until you have an infestation to seek professional help. Regular quarterly maintenance by a professional pest control company can save huge headaches and costs by establishing an exterior boundary so they will not have to spray chemicals as often inside the home.

Professionals will know how pest cycles change seasonally and will adjust the treatments to use for your home accordingly.

For a list of professionals in our area to help with your summer home needs, visit the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga’s member directory at www.HBAGC.net.