October 2, 2012 6:16 am
According to a REALTOR.com survey of real estate agents and brokers, nine out of 10 new homeowners in 2012 have been interested in purchasing distressed properties. These bargains often come with tall grass, overgrown shrubs, unmanaged pools and clogged gutters that may have turned into a haven for pests that can threaten the health and safety of families, homes and communities. Exposure to weeds and rodent and insect allergens can also trigger respiratory problems and illnesses like hay fever and asthma, especially among young children, toddlers and the elderly.
Since fall is the best time to prepare for winter and spring, here are a few tips to help homeowners keep their homes, yards and communities healthy and safe during National Inspect and Protect Week:
-Proactive and preventive treatments are key to keeping pests under control from the very start of your homeownership.
-Start off right. Eliminate pests' pathways into your house by sealing spaces around pipes and electrical wires entering the house.
-Eliminate food sources, water and shelter that may attract pests.
-Remove stacks of cardboard (including those moving boxes) from your home as they provide attractive shelter and food for pests.
-Check for water leaks under the sink, refrigerator and other related areas.
-Store food items in air-tight and pest-proof containers or in the refrigerator or freezer.
-Remove all standing water in areas such as pots, buckets, toys, pet bowls, bird baths, etc.
-Clean out ornamental and flower beds and be sure to place mulch in the right places — at least 12 inches from your foundation. Pick up fallen leaves and branches to help eliminate places where ticks like to hide.
-Prune back tree branches that are touching the house or roof. Branches leading to your home form a bridge for insects and rodents.
-For pier and beam foundations, keep the area under the house free of clutter and sealed so no wildlife make it their home.
Maintaining your property is key to effectively avoiding a winter pest infestation. Taking action to inspect and protect your home this fall will safeguard your family's health as well as property, helping everyone to safely enjoy the colder months ahead.
Published with permission from RISMedia.