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Spring is arriving quickly, and, as the weather warms up, you may begin to see the unwelcome signs of pests in your home. Termites can destroy wood, flooring, foundations, and wallpaper, and it is completely possible for them to cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage before you notice them. Ants can bite you and contaminate your food, and roaches and fleas pose several health issues.

Before you pack up all your belongings and move out, however, it is important the remember the number one rule of pests: the best cure is prevention. While you can visit the National Pest Management Association for a complete guide on protecting your home, here is a list of the top 7 pest prevention tips.

Chalk

There are two ways to use chalk to help prevent ants from entering your home: draw lines around home entry points; crush up your chalk and scatter the powder around your house and in your garden.

Lemons

Lemons are also another great natural, humane pest preventative. Squirt lemon juice on all the entries to your home – including windows! Scatter small slices of lemon around the outside of your home as well. If you have issues with roaches or fleas, you can mix lemon juice with water and mop your floors.

Storage Containers

Put tempting ingredients like sugar in plastic or glass storage containers to help prevent infestations. This can stop mice and insects from smelling your food and being tempted to enter your home.

Reduce Moisture

Termites are attracted to moisture, so the best way to prevent a termite infestation is to help reduce moisture around your household. This can be done in multiple ways. First, check your home’s pipes to make sure there are no leaks present. Divert any water away from your property. You can also purchase dehumidifiers to help remove moisture from the air. While you are checking your property, watch for mold or algae; these are indicators of high moisture levels.

Practice Proper Wood Storage

Fire places and wood stoves are both aesthetic and eco-friendly. However, piles of firewood right beside your home are very tempting to termites and other pests like wood roaches, and it is easy for them to make the transition from an external wood source to your home. Make sure all wood piles – firewood, mulch, and even tree stumps – are at least 20 feet away from your home.

Reduce Food Sources

Termites’ main food source is a sugar called cellulose that is present in plant materials like wood. In order to reduce the appeal of your home, make sure to remove any excess materials that contain cellulose. Discard of any wood that you can no longer use. Clean up any messes your make. Mice can survive on as little as 3 grams of food per day, and this can easily be achieved through crumbs.

Hire a Professional

Sometimes, the best option is to hire a professional. Certified exterminators can spray around your home and set traps, effectively stopping pests before they become a problem.