Outdoor Pest Prevention and Control
Pests flourish where they find necessities for life: food, water and
protective shelter. If your home, restaurant or business is infested
with pests, they likely originated in your yard and landscape. The
best way to control pests from entering your home or business is
by removing the elements that insects, spiders, scorpions, ants,
centipedes, mice and rats need to survive.
There is a natural order of food supply with animal pests. Examples:
Spiders primarily feed upon insects as do scorpions. Some insects
feed on certain plant life. Other insects like the cockroach will feed
on food scraps as do rats and mice.
Prevention Strategy Without Toxic Pesticides
Preventing pests in your yard is a simple strategy that requires little
cost, if any. Control the food supply of certain pests and you will
reduce the volume of other pests. For example, eliminate food
scraps and waste, and you will minimize cockroaches which in turn
will reduce the chances of spider and scorpion infestation. Control
and eliminate breeding and hiding places and you will be a step
closer to a diminishing number of pests entering your home.
CLEANLINESS and SANITATION
- Place garbage receptacles on hard, cleanable surfaces farthest
from home foundations and building entrances.
- Always bag garbage tightly in plastic bags before putting bags
in garbage cans.
- Thoroughly wash garbage containers and the surfaces around
them at least once per month.
- Make sure the lids on containers are always tightly closed.
- Keep garbage containers at least 6" from walls.
- Remove anything that collects stagnant water which act as a
breeding ground particularly of mosquitoes. Water is also an
attractant to insects and other pests. Things to look for include
old tires, children's toys, plastic swimming pools, empty pots,
pet food dishes, wheel barrows, and other sources of water
- Remove junk. Besides serving as receptacles of stagnant
water, they are hiding and breeding places for insects, spiders
scorpions, and other pests including rats and mice.
- Rock piles and construction material such as bricks should
be moved away from walls and foundations.
- Ground should slope away from houses and buildings. Retained
moisture against building will attract pests. Water that seeps into
the ground around foundations will attract termites. Slopes should
be sufficient enough to flow water away from structures.
- Soil should not be so compacted that it inhibits absorption of
water. Try aerating the soil to benefit adequate draining.
- Check and clean gutters. When drains are plugged by leaves,
pine needles and other debris, standing water become breeding
ground for mosquitoes. Overflow will drip along walls settling
- Make sure that condensation lines from air conditioning units
and coolers flow away from foundations. Extend lines at least
6-12 inches from the foundation.
- Keep grass mowed low. Thatch lawns at least once per year to
remove buildup of grass clippings and excessive natural buildup
of mulch which is a favorite hangout of insects.
- Tree stumps attract insects, primarily termites. Removing them
can be expensive, but as a minimum treat them with pesticides
and check them often.
- Trim tree limbs, bushes and plant life so that they do not touch
outside walls or rooftops. Excess growth permits Insects, scorpions,
spiders and even rodents to avoid chemical pesticide barriers.
- If you plant bushes and vegetation, preplan so that at mature
growth they are at least 6 feet away from foundations.
- Avoid planting grass lawns or installing sprinkler systems against
foundations. Retained moisture will harbor insects and invite termites.
Besides, sprinkler over-spray will damage wood exteriors.
- Avoid adding soil and bark-chip mulch near foundations and walls.
It promotes "damp rot" which attract insect pests.
- Store firewood off the ground and farthest away from walls and
foundations. Termites will infest firewood and insects, spiders, and
scorpions will harbor in it. Before taking logs inside, check them for
pests. Always use gloves when handling firewood.
It's virtually impossible to completely eliminate pests in your yard,
but following a strategy and plan for prevention, you may be able
to control pests with minimal use of chemical pesticides.