TAMPA - Ants marching along your kitchen wall or roaches on your countertops are a sign that it's time to call an exterminator. Angie Hicks, the founder of the consumer website Angie's List, agrees. "If you find that you have unwanted bugs in your house a lot times people might try to tackle this project on their own, but if you see that you have a persistent issue it's probably time to call in the expert."
But it can also mean that you might need to make a few changes that could help take care of an insect or rodent problem. Angie's List, along with professional exterminator Daniel Packard have a few tips to keep those pesky pests out of your home.
"A common entry point for insects is underneath doors," said Packard. "A lot of times if you look under your doors you can see daylight. This is a place where they like to come in." so your first step is to seal any cracks in walls or window and door casings and repair screens.
Next, keep you house as dry as possible. "I can't stress that enough," said Packard. "Keep the water away from your house. Insects need a sufficient amount of moisture to survive and if you keep the water away... that really helps out considerably." Address leaks around sinks or plumbing. Keep tree branches trimmed and avoid placing mulch too close to the home's foundation. Also, clean gutters and downspouts. Moist clogs in guttering draws insects.
A few more tips:
"Prevention is the best defense against future pest problems," said Hicks. "Taking care of your lawn, while it may not seem like the biggest issue, it's actually really key. Keep your lawn mowed well and avoid standing water and go light on mulch around your house because that mulch can be a great place for pests to live."
When hiring a pest control company Hicks advises you look for a local company with a good reputation. "Because a lot of times they are going to offer warranties on their work. You want to be sure they will be around to stand behind that. Additionally, many states do require licensure for pest control companies. Confirm that is in good standing. Finally, see if they are a member of the National Pest Association as well."
Angie's List Tips: Hiring an pest control company