Idea Notebook - Atlanta Home Improvement Blog

Expert Tip Monday: Keeping Summer Bugs at Bay

Anonymous

Today's expert Q&A come to us from our friends at Terminix. And it's about gross, creepy, crawly and wholly unwelcome critters. Insects that are commonly found around your home!

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While Atlanta residents may be getting into the swing of summer, most will be doing more swatting throughout the next couple of months. That’s because June and July are the months when mosquitoes, ants, spiders and cockroaches are most active in The BKeig Peach. In order for these pests to not put a damper on your outdoor gatherings, follow these simple, DIY tips from our friends at Terminix:

Mosquitoes:

o   Repair damaged and clogged gutters that allow water to collect. Use soil to fill in low areas in lawns and landscaped sections where rainwater may accumulate and stand for more than 7 days.

o   Regularly empty standing water found in outdoor pots, saucers, barrels, “kiddie pools” and birdbaths at least once a week.

o   Install an agitator in garden ponds or buy fish that eat mosquito larvae.

o   Switch outdoor lighting from mercury vapor lamps to sodium vapor lamps to attract fewer mosquitoes to the building.

Ants:

  • When landscaping, avoid using plants like roses, shrubs and fruit trees that are prone to aphids and similar insects, which ants use as a primary food source. Layers of mulch and heavy vegetative ground covers hold the moisture needed by ants to thrive.
  • Store any firewood away from the home and remove any dead wood or wood scraps from around the exterior foundation, where ant colonies can often be found.
  • Seal all plumbing or roof leaks and check crawl spaces and attics for excess moisture.

Spiders :

  • Remove clutter in the basement and garage, as these are potential harborages for spiders as well as for the insects they prey upon. Do not store any items in a crawlspace. 
  • Cut back branches of trees and shrubs at least 18 inches away from the roof and walls of the home.
  • Seal cracks around pipes, wires and cables leading up into the structure from the crawlspace or basement and down from the attic. Also seal cracks around vents and light fixtures in the ceiling. 

Cockroaches:

o   Do not allow pet food to sit out overnight. Pick it up after outdoor pets are finished eating.

o   Ensure the attic and/or crawl space has sufficient ventilation. Research has shown that proper ventilation creates an environment unsuitable for cockroaches and other pests. It also improves the heating and cooling efficiency of the home.

o   Make sure that all foundation and attic vents are equipped with tight-fitting screens. 

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