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Not only do garden pests damage your yard, but they are also a health hazard. These pests cause a threat to your health with their bites and the germs that they bring. This is especially worse for those who are allergic to insects- stings and bites can be extremely itchy and irritating!

Garden pests are also responsible for the spread of diseases, including salmonella, which is spread through their urine and feces. Skin inflammation, allergic reactions, skin rashes, and respiratory problems are all potential health risks that you may face if there are pests in your garden.

Here are a few things you can do to prep your lawn for pests, especially in the late fall and early winter:

Yard Work

Did you know that dying grass, fallen leaves, untrimmed bushes, and wild shrubs attract opportunistic pests? It is bad enough when multitudes of pests start feeding on your yard and making themselves at home. However, it doesn’t stop there. When the weather starts getting cooler, these pesky pests will move right into your house and start nesting at different spots.

To stop this from happening, rake up all the fallen leaves in your yard and get rid of the soggy build-up lying around. Do not allow any thatch on your lawn’s surface. Thatch is the tangled grass and roots that are usually found on the soil. It stops nutrients from getting absorbed by the plants. To stop this from happening, mow your lawn short until the grass stops growing and trim all the bushes. Moreover, allow a border of 3 feet between the edges of your home and yard so that they cannot use the decorative yard plants as ladders to get from one place to another.

As the wind picks up and the weather gets cooler, make sure to clean up fallen debris from the trees and shrubs surrounding your house. Also, make sure that there are no puddles of stagnant water at any part of your property so that your yard is not absorbing any kind of moisture. Remember, moisture attracts pests.

Maintaining the Border

Whenever you get the chance, take some time out to walk the perimeter of your house. Inspect your surroundings and look for small cracks or gaps that pests could use to find their way inside. However, keep in mind that these cracks will not look like regular cracks. 

One of the most common ways pests use to enter your home is by climbing up utility lines, such as pipes and electrical wires. These pests simply follow the line, squeezing through small gaps. They look for any opening into your home so that they can stay warm and feed on what is inside your house. Spiders and cockroaches also crawl through plumbing vents and chimneys, scurrying their way into your home.

To stop pests from raiding your yard and home, simply caulk over the spaces around utility lines. Check every window, door frame, and sill in your house. Get rid of old weatherstripping, ensure that the doors and windows in your house have no space in between, and keep an eye out for drafts. 

During the year, window frames become vulnerable, so it is important to repair them before the temperature starts to drop. Don’t forget to check the windows in the basement and attic. All entrances need to be covered, regardless of how small and unimportant they could seem. Who said, getting ready for a pest-free winter was going to be easy?

Declutter

There is no denying that mess attracts pests. This means that the messier your home and yard are, the more chances there are for pests to raid your surroundings. Pests love to hide out in places that are dark, humid, and confined. If your yard is a mess, they will find their way into your home and into the junk-filled basement or attic. 

While it is easy to allow things to pile up and accumulate in your yard, like fallen leaves and fruits, especially when it gets cold, remember that you are only allowing pests to become comfortable in your home.

“Spring cleaning” is a popular term, but why does no one talk about the “fall clean up?” If you want to protect your yard and home from invaders, go outside and clean up all the mess. Go to your basement and closets and get rid of the stuff you do not need. Make sure that by the time winter approaches, everything in your home is organized and kept in a safe place. Even though pests are shy and scared, the dropping temperatures make them seek shelter around your house. 

Fertilize

Fertilizing your yard in the fall or early winter is one of the best things you can do, especially because your lawn is no longer getting nutrients from the hot sun. If you fertilize right before the temperatures drop massively, you can keep your yard healthy and in shape for the approaching spring. 

It is important to remember the time you fertilize your yard as over-fertilizing can cause damage to your crops. If you manage to fertilize on time, you can say goodbye to all pests and insects. 

Trim Weeds

While weeds are your yard’s worst enemy, they are absolute favorites amongst pests and insects. Pests usually use weeds as a hiding spot, home, and food. Then, they creep into your home and settle in warm, comfortable spots during the winter.

To stop this from happening, use weed control products on your plants and crops. Usually, one application stays effective for three months. You can breathe a little during this time and sit back and relax as pests will not be getting anywhere close to you or your surroundings.

Maintaining a Watering Schedule

As mentioned before, pests and insects thrive in damp areas where there is a lot of water. However, this is terrible for your lawn. Overwatering your plants and crops can lead to a pest invasion faster than you may imagine while severely damaging years of hard work. Hence, it is important to establish a water routine that can be followed regularly. 

 

While this may seem like a lot of information to take in, don’t feel overwhelmed! While every yard has its own unique needs, professional pest care services should be opted for instead of DIY methods that could ruin your yard. Simply reach out to us at AntsPlus today so that we can prepare you for a safe, pest-free winter.