Spring Cleaning Tips for Keeping Pests Out
By: Rita Stadler
Many things – like spring cleaning AND pest problems – are influenced by Mother Nature’s calendar. With the Coronavirus Pandemic dominating people’s minds and media headlines, health and hygiene seem more important now than ever before. While we aren’t experts in the medical science field, we’ve long understood the connection between keeping your home clean and preventing pest infestations. We’ve put together a few of our tried and true tips to make your to-do list a little easier and included links to the experts whenever possible.
First, we’d like to point out that there is a difference between regular cleaning, spring cleaning, and the best practices recommended by official organizations for cleaning & disinfecting. We’ll review a couple of key points for all the different kinds of cleaning and provide a free download at the end with a spring-cleaning checklist to make those tasks a little easier.
When it comes to cleaning and disinfecting, check with the recommendations of Federal, State and Local organizations.
Some cleaning products kill germs, viruses and bacteria, but some do not. Pay attention to the labels and follow their directions. Look to see what the active and inactive ingredients are, if there are any special precautions you should take when using, storing, or disposing of the product and what type of first aid is appropriate if you inhale, ingest or come into direct contact the product.
The CDC points out the difference between cleaning and disinfecting in a household setting by saying this:
- Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
- Disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
CDC recommends using EPA registered disinfectants, solutions with at least 70% alcohol, or diluted household bleach solutions for disinfecting.
When it comes to regular cleaning, try these pro tips!
Regular cleaning is an important (if not tedious) fact of life. Life is messy, we get it, but your home doesn’t have to be. We’ve done our research and found a few tips and tricks that make this never-ending chore way easier!
Make 3 passes, or waves. On your first pass, tidy up. Pick up objects that are out of place and assess what is needed so you have the supplies you need for the next steps. On your second pass, you will do the real cleaning – this means getting rid of dust, debris, streaks and sticky spots. Since you did a visual assessment on your first pass, you’ll have the right products (like glass cleaner or all-purpose spray) and supplies (like paper towels, microfiber cloths, or a feather duster) to get this done quickly and efficiently. The last pass is to clean the floors. By saving this for last, you don’t have to be as careful if a few crumbs or dust fall on the floor in the earlier passes, you’ll take care of them now.
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When it comes to Spring Cleaning, we’ve got your back!
Spring cleaning is different than regular cleaning because we don’t always take the time to clean every little thing. That’s okay, somethings don’t need to be cleaned that often. Spring cleaning is also an opportunity to take care of small repairs and projects that you’ve been putting off. Paying attention to hard to reach and seldom-used spaces just a few times a year is all that is needed to keep your home happy, healthy and pest-free.
Make sure you’re getting the most out of your cleaning spree by focusing on these key points:
- Clean underneath and behind – Dust bunnies aren’t the only things that congregate under sofas, beds, dressers so be brave, take a look and get rid of whatever is hiding. Pay attention to the backsides of upholstered furniture and dresser drawers; moths love to hide here.
- Clean up high and down low – Cobwebs accumulate in the corners and dust piles up on fan blades, picture frames and light fixtures.
- Windows (and window tracks) – Use a toothbrush to get rid of dirt that comes in open windows and settles in the tracks. A handheld vacuum can help here, along with a damp cloth.
- Window coverings – Follow instructions on the label to launder or steam clean fabric curtains; use the brush attachment on your vacuum or a microfiber cloth for blinds.
Nothing beats our Spring Cleaning Checklist – we’ve got DIY advice and seasonal checklists to help you preserve the good and prevent the rest!