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Spring Cleaning: Tips for Preventing Pest Infestations

By Robin Mountjoy

Now that we’ve set our clocks forward for the year, spring is officially on the minds of many homeowners. Spring is also a time when insects and critters emerge to build nests and forage for food for their young. Sometimes this results in insects and wildlife coming too close to home for comfort. Left unchecked, a little nuisance can turn into an infestation.


Robin Mountjoy

Before an infestation occurs, most professional pest control companies recommend taking preventative measures around your home to keep unwanted visitors out. As you embark on spring cleaning this season, employ these simple tips for a pest-free home:

– Seal up entry points. Check your home for cracks along windows and doors, and holes in window screens, especially near light fixtures where insects congregate at night. Seal cracks and consider adding a mesh barrier under porches and decks to ward off wild four-legged friends.

– Keep food in sealed containers. Pet food, bird seed, and dry food items are inviting meals for ants and other pantry pests. Keep these items stored in airtight containers.

– Eliminate standing water. Mosquitoes don’t just ruin backyard barbecues, they can also transmit deadly diseases. Mosquitoes need water to breed, so get rid of any standing water on your property.

– Keep wood and brush away from home structures. These materials appeal to termites, wood-boring beetles, and even bees and wasps. Store these items away from your home, garage and shed.

– Try a dehumidifier. Basements can get particularly damp in the warmer months, providing a haven for centipedes, silverfish, and other pests. A dehumidifier can remove excess moisture.

Despite your best efforts to prevent pests from entering your home, infestations can still occur. Professional pest control companies can help you with environmentally responsible ways to address any pest issues, and prevent future visits from unwelcome insects and wildlife.


Robin Mountjoy is the general manager and president of Connor’s Termite & Pest Control. She is a respected pest control expert, serving the industry through the National Pest Management Association, the Virginia Pest Management Association, and the Northern Virginia Pest Management Association. Ms. Mountjoy has a BS in accounting and business from Radford University. You can find articles by the Connor’s team on everything from termite damage to how to get rid of bed bugs on their Pest Control Blog.


  1. Great post! Its nice to see you mention “Keep wood and brush away from home structures.”. This is an often overlooked task that is simple to complete. I have a blog post at where I suggest making sure vegetation is also kept trimmed back from your foundation. There are several other tips there that complement yours nicely.

  2. Good tips! You can’t emphasis making sure that door thresholds are properly sealed and windows are tightly screened. We also advise our customers to keep trash containers sealed and trash areas cleaned up.

  3. One of the most useful pest control tips here is to seal off entry points into a home. That one thing can save home owners a lot of trouble. Try to do this before fall and winter because the cold weather causes a lot of critters to seek shelter in your home if they can find a way in.

  4. Thanks for these tips for preventing pest control! I hadn’t considered that dehumidifier could be helpful to remove extra moisture, especially in a basement. This seems like it would be a good investment, especially if you live in a humid area. I’d be interested in seeing if this would also still prove useful in drier climates, or if there is another alternative to consider.

  5. Last winter we had a huge mouse infestation. Come to find out we had a huge hole leading from our garage to our kitchen behind the stove. Great learning experience, and we were able to resolve the issue with a new kitten, so double win.

  6. This summer our home has been overrun by ants. They are everywhere! The other day when I turned the shower on, ants fell out. I’m going to take your tip on making sure all food is completely sealed.

  7. There is a lot of wildlife around where I live so it would probably be a good idea to do everything that you listed here. I’ll for sure seal up everything as I don’t want critters getting into my home. If something did, then I’d go about getting the help of a professional.

  8. I find it surprising when you said that homeowners should prioritize sealing up door and window cracks in order to prevent four-legged pests from coming in. In the event that they do get in, however, one should call a professional repair service to restore the home. For example, if I found out that I have a rat infestation in my vacation home, calling for their help can increase my chances of getting it rented to both old and new tenants this summer. Also, their help can increase its property and curb value too.

  9. There are a lot of ants and mosquitoes in my house, and unfortunately, they found their way to my living room. I guess you’re right, we must keep our food in sealed containers. Also, I’ll try locating cracks along with the windows and doors, and seal them up with mesh if there’s any.

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