‘Spring’ing Into Action Against Pests

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STATE—“Spring-time is always welcome, but pest management professionals will tell you it is also the time when dormant pest populations come to life, renewing the ancient cycle that poses problems for homeowners and others,” says Leonard Douglen, the executive director of the New Jersey Pest Management Association.

“While professional pest control can greatly reduce many of the problems associated with insect and rodent pests, homeowners can do a great deal on their own to reduce the eruption and invasion of various pest species that create a great deal of trouble.”

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Douglen offers a number of helpful tips:
1. Ornamental shrubs and trees should be regularly pruned to ensure their branches are not touching the surface of one’s home or other structures. Branches resting against a home are highways that allow pests to gain access to a structure.

2. Spring is a good time to inspect gutters, downspouts and extensions to ensure they are functioning correctly to draw water away from a home or structure. Water can do as much damage as wood-destroying pests such as termites or carpenter ants that are highly attracted to affected areas.

3. Cracks in the foundation and access to a home via utility entry points like water and gas mains, and telephone lines need to be inspected and sealed. This simple act of maintenance can do much to avoid an invasion of carpenter and other ant species, and termites. Pest management technicians are trained to identify such problems and to take appropriate action to eliminate them.

4. While flower beds around a home’s foundation are lovely, they also attract insects such as aphids, mealybugs, scales and thrips. Their pollen also attracts other pest species. Weeds pose a similar problem. In particular, various kinds of mulch retain moisture and create heat through natural decomposition which in turn attracts species on which various other pests prey for food.

5. No one wants to share their home with invaders that include squirrels, raccoons and opossums. Bats, too, find attics inviting if they can gain access. Chimney caps are a necessary element to any home that has one, as well as vents. Bird’s nests should be removed as well.

“The importance of regular inspections by pest control technicians can greatly reduce the problems that homeowners can encounter when spring arrives and throughout the year,” says Douglen.

Founded in 1941, the New Jersey Pest Management Association provides regular seminars and conferences for its member firms and their staffs. A recent conference on bed bugs addressed a growing problem throughout the state. All member firms are licensed and certified by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

The association maintains an internet website at www.pestcontrol.com that provides general information on various pest species along with information about member firms throughout the state.


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