IN THE KITCHEN
- Store food in airtight containers. Place in the freezer open packages of pasta, rice and baking goods, such as flour or oatmeal, and freeze for 72 hours. Then put them in airtight containers. Otherwise, throw them away.
- Wipe down bottles of sticky substances, such as syrups, sauces or condiments, with warm soapy water to reduce the chance of ant infestation.
- Check for spoilage: Items such as old potatoes, onions and other vegetables should be checked for spoilage to avoid infestation.
- Put it away: Put leftover holiday candy, chocolate and other treats in the freezer.
THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE
- Thoroughly vacuum and clean window and sliding-door tracks to help keep out invaders such as carpet beetles, earwigs, silverfish and spiders.
- Inspect it: After houseguests leave, carefully inspect closets, drawers and beds/sofas for bedbugs that inadvertently may have been brought in. After you travel, carefully clean or vacuum all luggage inside and out, and then store it in tightly sealed plastic garbage bags.
- Wash it: During warm months, wash and store wool and fur-trimmed or -lined clothing in sealed containers or plastic bags to reduce the chance of moth or carpet beetle activity.
- Clean up and organize cluttered items along the perimeter walls of the garage, where rodents hide. Install shelving or storage cabinets and get your stuff off the garage floor.Â
OUTSIDE THE HOME
- Check all window screens and sub-area vents for storm damage to help reduce possible insect entry points. Check the roof for missing or damaged shingles or tiles that may allow pests access or water damage.
- Clean out rain gutters and down spouts that may have collected leaves, twigs, and other debris that can harbor rodents and insects.
- Search your yard for areas or items that may have collected rainwater, then drain the items to avoid attracting mosquitoes and rodents.
- Clean up weeds, downed leaves, twigs, branches and other debris that can provide a food source or home for unwanted pests.
- Prune back tree limbs at least four feet from the roofline. Trim shrubs so they do not come into contact with the house.