Researchers are not quite sure when the practice of spring cleaning first began. Some trace it back to a Jewish practice performed during Passover, while others believe it began as an Iranian way of welcoming the Persian New Year. Nevertheless, spring cleaning remains a tradition in American households.
Most homeowners tackle long-neglected tasks like laundering the curtains, vacuuming behind furniture, and tidying the pantry during their spring cleaning routines. If you want to keep your home pest-free in the coming year, you should add these pest-prevention tasks to your list.
Vacuum Out Your Cabinets
Crumbs tend to accumulate in the backs of cabinets and pantries. Do more than re-arrange your food products and dishes this spring, take the time to fully remove them. Vacuum out the cabinets before putting items back inside. Pests like cockroaches and ants are not picky and will gladly snack on year-old graham cracker crumbs or spilled flour.
Caulk Around Your Doors and Windows
The freeze-thaw cycle of winter can cause cracks to open up alongside your windows and doors. These cracks are the perfect entryways for insects.
While you may ultimately want to replace damaged windows and doors for improved energy efficiency, some simple caulk will keep the bugs out. Use a high-quality latex or silicone caulk. Choose one that dries clear, and any mistakes you make won’t be obvious.
Replace Damaged Door Sweeps
Door sweeps also tend to suffer damage over the winter, when you constantly push the door over a thick mat or against salty residue. A gap under the door caused by a damaged sweep might even be large enough to allow small rodents inside.
You can simply replace your door sweep. Unscrew the old one, use it as a guide to cut your new sweep to the same length, and then screw the new sweep into place. Make sure your sweep is thick enough to just graze the ground as you close the door.
Clean Your Drains
Even if your drains seem to be flowing well, you should clean them as a part of your spring cleaning routine. The soap, grease, and hair that tend to build up in drains appeal to cockroaches, drain flies, and other pests. They may lay their eggs in this material, which perpetuates an infestation.
To clean your drains, just pour a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar into each drain. Let it foam up for an hour or so, and then rinse it away with hot water.
Vacuum Your Mattress
Dust mites are so tiny you can’t see them with the naked eye, but they’re bothersome household pests nonetheless. They can cause allergy symptoms like itching and sneezing, and they may attract certain spiders.
Mattresses are common harboring places for dust mites. To get rid of them, sprinkle your mattress with baking soda, let it sit for 15 minutes, and then vacuum it up. The dust mites will be vacuumed away with the baking soda.
Plug In Your Dehumidifier
In the spring, temperatures rise — and so do humidity levels. High humidity can attract any number of insects to your basement.
If you have a dehumidifier, plug it in during your spring cleaning routine. If you do not have a dehumidifier, consider purchasing one. It’s a small investment that will not only keep pests at bay, but will also keep your home more comfortable during those humid spring and summer days.
Include these pest-prevention tasks in your spring cleaning routine, and you’ll decrease your chances of having to deal with an infestation during the coming year. If you do notice any signs of pests, contact A-Alert Exterminating Service Inc. We offer residential pest control services throughout the Chicago area.