7 Spring Cleaning Tips for Pest Control
Well, it’s that time of year again. It’s time to start airing out those closets, sheds, and cupboards to reorganize and declutter. What you might not know is that your regular spring cleaning ritual will also help you eliminate pests! That’s right, just simply cleaning up is going to help you save hundreds of dollars on exterminator costs. This is why we’ve made a list of 7 things to clean out this spring to prevent pests.
When cleaning, take everything one step at a time. Set aside allotted time to clear out each space. This way, you won’t get overwhelmed with any of your spring cleaning tasks. An hour or even just 10 minutes to clean can make a big job seem effortless. Slowly, you’ll start to notice a change in your space, and even start developing good habits around cleaning and pest control.
Clean Out Your Closet
Rats, mice, cockroaches, and even scorpions love to nest in warm and dark places. Your closet is an hotspot for pests to start making a nest and even mate! When you clean out your closet, be sure to get rid of anything that you don’t wear, and find storage organizers to store anything else. Decluttering isn’t just something you should do in your closets, you should also declutter:
- Crawl spaces
Clean Out Your Kitchen
Start by going through all your cupboards and look for dishware that’s broken, outdated, or even is just a little too worn. Having less things inside your kitchen storage will also make it easier for you to do the next step: cleaning the cupboards themselves! Wipe down and clean out both the inside and outside of all your kitchen storage. You can use a regular cleaning product to do this, or you can make your own DIY spray with essential oils. To make a spray, combine:
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp natural dish soap
- 1 tbsp of lavender oil, lemongrass oil, or peppermint oil
Funnel the mixture into a spray bottle, and use it as an all-purpose cleaner. White vinegar is a natural disinfectant and is safe to use in sensitive areas. The reason we picked these 3 essential oils is because they’re known to get rid of pests, like ants, that commonly sneak into cabinets. Peppermint is particularly great at keeping ants away. The essential oils are safe to use around your family and they smell amazing.
Next, you’re going to want to clean out your fridges, pantries, and freezers for things that are expired or that you probably aren’t going to eat anytime soon. Any food that you do keep should be properly stored into containers. This will ensure that any mice and rats won’t be able to sniff out or eat any of your food.
Clear Out Your Yard
The next thing you want to do is to head outside. Declutter and organize any backyard sheds the way you did with your other storage spaces. Now that you’re a pro at organizing and decluttering, this step should take no time at all. Remember to replace any old gardening equipment, as older tools can carry bacteria that can attract common garden pests like mealworms. It’s important to make sure that even small pests are eliminated from your garden, as they can attract pests like moles and gophers.
After you’ve finally cleared out your shed, it’s time to tackle your yard and garden. Start by trimming back any vegetation growing in your yard like trees and bushes. Then clean out any leftover debris and weeds from your lawn. It’s especially important to keep your yard and lawn clear, as a messy yard can attract almost any pest that you can think of. After everything is cleared out, inspect your vegetation for rot and signs of infestation. If you do have vegetation that isn’t doing too well, it’s probably best to remove it entirely.
Finally, go around the foundation of your home and check for any cracks, rot, or signs of infestation. Wood-tunneling pests like termites and carpenter ants love rotted or decaying wood. If you have a porch or wooden structure outside, be sure to give it a little extra TLC while you’re cleaning outside. Remember that pests come into your home from outside, so it’s best to give pests a reason not to go anywhere near your property.
Look Around for Leaks
Even if you didn’t find any leaks the first time you started cleaning out everything, check again in places where leaks commonly form. Pipes can sometimes freeze up in the winter, or can get a little rusty. When the weather begins to get warmer and the pipes thaw out, old cracks may begin to show. When pests come into your home, they look for shelter, food, and water. Pests love leaky homes because it gives them easy access to water. Look for and repair leaks in your:
- Utility closet
The other thing pests love is dirt and grime. Take about 10 minutes out of your week to go around your house to dust everything. This includes:
Dusting will also ensure that no allergens are left in your home, preventing allergy attacks! Rewash old clothes, blankets, linens, and pillows so no leftover dust or grime continues to stick around in your home.
Keep Everything Clean
Finally, you’re going to want to create a cleaning schedule. It doesn’t have to include the big chores you do for your spring cleaning ritual, but it should ensure your home stays clean and tidy. When you clean your house, you want to make sure that there’s nothing inside or outside that’ll attract pests. Pests are just like humans, they’re really only looking for 3 things: food, water, and shelter. So if you want to make sure you won’t have pests invading your home, don’t give them a reason to come inside!
Even with the best of care, pests can still find their way inside. If you do have an infestation, check out some of our resources on how to get rid of specific pests, or call one our expert partners at Pest Brigade.