Spring has sprung, and with that comes an influx of annoying critters—both inside and outside the home. How can those pests best be safely controlled?

Tips for Keeping Pests at Bay Indoors

  • The first step to protecting the interior of the home from pests it to make sure their access to the interior is restricted. Walk the exterior of your home and check for any issues that may have arisen. Pests need only tiny crevices to access the interior, so make sure to check for any gaps underneath doors, cracks in bricks or the foundation, chipped windowpanes, etc.
  • Pests are attracted to moisture, so it is always important to control the moisture level within the interior. If necessary, make use of a dehumidifier to keep moisture at bay.
  • Pests and rodents are looking for food sources in the spring, so it is critical to make sure that food is contained. Any food stored in basement areas should be in airtight packaging. Regular sweeping of the kitchen is important as well.
  • Installing window screens will also be helpful. For existing screens, make sure to check them for holes and replace them if necessary.
  • Dispose of leftover pet food as soon as possible.
  • Keep trash receptacles sealed.

Tips for Keeping Pests at Bay Outdoors

You’re enjoying a socially distanced outdoor gathering, only to be pestered by bugs. What can be done to safely minimize their presence?

  • Using a fan outdoors will keep mosquitos away.
  • Mosquitos also breed in pooled water, which can include places you might not think to check—such as gutters, flowerpots, old tires, buckets, and other outdoor containers. Do regular sweeps of the exterior to eliminate any standing water. A great resource for identifying breeding grounds is provided by the Maryland Department of Agriculture.
  • Bugs also love yard debris, dead leaves, and mud in addition to standing water. Keep an eye out for those issues as well before they become a breeding ground. Note though, that the Maryland Department of Agriculture recommends the following this year thanks to Brood X: “Consider delaying this winter’s pruning of landscape materials until after egg-laying stops in June. Very small trees in the home landscape or garden should be covered with cheesecloth or other fine netting from the time 17-year cicadas are first heard until they disappear.”
  • Love plants but hate mosquitos? There are a variety of plants that are believed to repel mosquitos, which include: marigolds, citronella, catnip, lavender, basil and lemon balm.
  • Wearing light-colored clothing may also assist in repelling mosquitos.
  • If you are storing any food outside (like bird food), make sure to maintain it in an airtight container.
  • Dispose of pet waste as soon as possible.
  • Make sure the outdoor garbage can is closed.