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.


  • 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 collection.
  • 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 around foundations.
  • 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.

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