Now that spring is here and everything’s in bloom, you might start to notice certain visitors invading your property. In fact, experts estimate that this year will be a particularly bad one if you hate insects and other pests. April was National Pest Management Month, but as homeowners across the country know all too well, the next several months may be marked with infestations that can range from minor annoyances to the cause of major health concerns. With more than 27,000 different businesses currently operating throughout the nation, the U.S. pest control industry is there whenever you need assistance. But it might benefit you to learn a bit more about the best pest control practices to use. That way, you won’t make a bad situation worse — or mistake a helpful creature for a nuisance.
Leave Good Bees Be
A lot of people are scared of these buzzing insects, but many of them are absolutely vital to our ecosystem. Bees pollinate more than $15 million worth of crops every year in the U.S., and without them, our planet would be in dire straits. Many pest control companies will actually refuse to exterminate bees for this reason, although carpenter bees are typically an exception. They can do a lot of structural damage (and sting humans, of course), so you’ll likely want professional help in dealing with them. If you do notice honeybee swarms, your first instinct should be to call a beekeeper. Instead of spraying the swarm with poison, the beekeeper can ensure the bees can be collected in a hive. Swarms can contain several thousand honeybees, and with so many dying out, loss due to extermination should be avoided at all costs. If you can’t tell the difference between the different types of bees, contact professionals prior to taking any action.
Guard Your Perimeter
Estimates reveal that without the pest control industry, rodents and bugs would destroy 50% of our food supply. But you’ll personally need to take action if you want to keep insects out of your home. Termites are known as the worst bug to find in your home due to the excessive damage they can cause, but carpenter ants, cockroaches, and certain types of spiders should also be removed. Since prevention is a lot more effective, you’ll need to take steps to keep unwanted creatures out before they move in. That typically starts with safeguarding the perimeter of your property.
Maintaining your yard can help a lot, since overgrown grass, trees, and shrubs can invite insect activity and even grant critters access to your home itself. You should also take care to remove standing water or excessively moist spots in your yard (like rotting tree stumps and pool covers) to discourage bug activity. Be sure to seal any cracks or gaps in your home’s exterior, patch any screens, and invest in weather stripping to keep insects out. That way, you may not even have to call the pest control experts at all.
Don’t Wait — But Don’t Rush to Judgment
If you do suspect that you have a need for pest control help, you shouldn’t adopt a “wait and see” attitude. Hanging all your hopes on the pest in question deciding to leave on their own can end in disaster. Most likely, the problem will only get worse — and you might suffer damage or even health issues as a result.
That said, don’t be tempted to contact the very first pest control company you find out of desperation. Some companies haven’t been in business long enough to really be experts, while others might use chemicals that aren’t actually safe. There’s also a good chance that a given pest control company could be fraudulent, so you’ll want to do your homework by looking for reliable reviews and asking companies to provide proof of insurance. If a company wants you to sign a contract right away, walk away and find another with a proven reputation.
Bugs can certainly ruin a summer outing or cause a commotion in your kitchen — but you don’t have to grant them so much power. If you take the time to protect your property, learn the difference between good and bad bugs, and contact an experienced professional when needed, you’ll be able to nip most problems in the bud.