Summer Cleaning Checklist – Keep Common Pests Away
By: Rita Stadler
What does summer mean to you? Most people think of vacations, warm weather, and fun in the sun. Those are the things that make summer special, but Mother Nature has a specific cycle she follows, regardless of our calendar.
If we follow nature’s calendar, we cannot overlook the Summer Solstice. This special day is the longest day of the year – meaning it has the most daylight hours – and marks the first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. While people like you and me follow a routine set by dates on the calendar and hours on the clock, plants, animals, and the rest of the natural world follow a routine set by our planet’s movement around the sun. Many types of animals, including common household pests, determine when and where they will live, eat, sleep, and breed based on environmental conditions and the amount of daylight vs. darkness each day.
Fun Fact: The origins of the word solstice come from the Latin sol (“sun”) and sistere (“to stand still”) because at the solstices, the sun’s declination appears to “stand still”; the sun appears to stop “moving” in the sky as it reaches its northern- or southernmost point for the year, as seen from Earth.
How Do Seasons Affect Common Pests?
Changing seasons affect all types of animals differently. For example, the migration of some bird species, the hibernation of bears, and the surge of newborn wildlife in the spring are a few seasonal behaviors that are easy to notice. Other seasonal animal behaviors may be less noticeable to the casual observer, but these cycles are vitally important to creatures big and small.
We mentioned above that environmental conditions influence pest behavior, but that means so much more than just the hours of sunlight on a given day. Rodents, insects, and all creatures have the same basic needs: food, water, and shelter. As a warm, wet spring comes to an end, summer is ripe with opportunity for these little critters! Plant life, an essential part of many common pests’ diet and habitat, is thriving as a result of spring rains, warm temperatures, and ample sunshine. This year is a little different than usual since fewer people have been traveling, leading to cleaner air and water in many places.
While watching Mother Nature live her best life is a beautiful thing, we’d like common pests like bugs and mice to stay outside where they belong! But no matter how idyllic the conditions are outside, there are always a few renegade critters that try to find their way into our homes and buildings. Find out why bugs and rodents want to come inside, so you’ll know what to do to make sure they stay away.
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What’s Bugging You?
We all know that feeling when you’re stuck inside, looking out the window with longing, waiting for a chance to enjoy a bit of fun in the sun. Surprisingly, there may be a little pest or two outside, looking in, wanting what you already have. No matter how lovely it is outside, many rodents and insects will choose to live indoors, alongside people, where food, water, and shelter are ready and waiting.
Your home has all the things common pests need, without any of the uncertainty they might face outdoors. There’s little chance of flood, drought, or even predators threatening bugs or mice if they are lucky enough to find a way inside. You might not notice some critters during the cold seasons, but with summer comes ants, mosquitoes, flies, and all kinds of insect encounters. Even though you can’t control the weather, you can follow a few steps for pest control and prevention around your home.
Home Pest Control Tips & Tricks
Let nature be your guide and look at each season as an opportunity to catch up on a little housework and home maintenance. Just like animals follow natural cycles, you can create rituals around the seasons to keep your home happy, healthy, and pest-free. You probably already have a habit of doing a little spring cleaning each year, so we’ve made a summer checklist that makes it super easy for you to proactively prevent household pests in the months to come too.
For example, doing your regular yard work gives you an opportunity to trim shrubs and tree branches that might serve as pest harborage, or give rodents access inside an overlooked area of your home. Little things, like washing out your trash bins, can make a big difference preventing pests. Save a copy of our checklist to make the job even easier, and get back to the business of backyard picnics, barbecues, and beach days this summer!