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REAL ESTATE

Tips to keep bugs and vermin out of your home

Spring is time for blooming gardens, warmer temperatures and unfortunately, the return of indoor and outdoor pests.

Some insects present only a minor concern and then there are those that can cause serious problems and nearly always require a professional exterminator’s attention.

“There are pests that are on the property, and then there are another set of pests that invade the house,” said board-certified entomologist Lynn Frank of Suburban Exterminating in Long Island, New York. “And then there is the wood-destroying insect that everyone worries about.”

Found in every state but Alaska, termites cost homeowners an estimated $5 billion annually for repair and control measures, Frank says.

“Most people wait until they see a termite swarm before they call,” said Frank. “And by then it’s an expensive proposition.”

While there’s no guarantee against pests — especially something like wood-destroying insects —there are some preventative measures that homeowners can take:

  • Make sure any wood on the exterior of your home is finished, painted or treated — making it less attractive to wood-destroying pests and bees looking to nest.
  • Get rid of any compacted earth or piled wood near your home that could attract pests, especially termites.
  • Seal all cracks and holes that would give insects access to the inside of your house. Check crawlspaces, along the foundation and any exterior vents.
  • Check the exterior of your home often for wasps. They like to build nests under eaves, underneath tables or even in barbecue grills.
  • Keep food in sealed containers and keep your kitchen clean. Rotting fruit, dropped crumbs or even pet food can attract ants, flies and rodents.

But if you do happen to have some unwelcome pest visitors — and you may at this time of the year — it’s best to call in the pros sooner rather than later.

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