Moving can be equal parts exciting and overwhelming, as there's quite a few, well, moving parts to nail down. And while thinking about pest management isn't nearly as glamorous as shopping for new rugs or placing furniture in the perfect spot, it's one thing you'll be thankful you added to your already long to-do list if it means avoiding bigger problems down the line.
"It is better and many times easier to prevent pest issues and maintain the environment than it is to solve pest issues after they become established," says Brian Harrison, marketing director at Orkin®. Because moving can both uncover and attract pests, Harrison recommends hiring a pest expert to inspect your new home — regardless of whether it's an old house or new construction — so you have the full picture of what you're dealing with before you settle in. (No one likes pesky neighbors, right?)
Plus, since Orkin® employs board-certified entomologists (or insect scientists) to test the products and diagnostic tools, you'll have peace of mind that you're getting the best, science-based solutions to your pest problems.
Once you've completed your pre-move-in inspection, you're ready to check a few more pest-management to-do's off your list. Keep reading for the three to bump to the top.
1. Seal windows and gaps around pipes.
Harrison's first piece of advice is to identify entry points where pests can let themselves in. And don't stop at the obvious mouse-sized spaces — look for places where insects like ants and mosquitos can make themselves at home, too.
"Ensuring there are no tiny gaps for bugs to enter your home also protects your property," Harrison says. "For example, holes in window screens and garage doors are an open invite for pest intruders." Once you've found any vulnerable areas, seal them up with silicone caulk or spray foam to ensure your home doesn't become a pest hotel.
2. Dispose of empty cardboard boxes.
Moving boxes are perfect hiding spots for pests, which means these pesky bugs can often be lurking in cardboard crevices without your even realizing it.
Harrison notes that these insects can leave behind harmful bacteria and waste. "Instead of taking the risk of exposing your home to unwanted pests, it's best to get rid of the boxes," he says. "Avoid storing items in cardboard whenever possible." Consider that a note to self to recycle any used cardboard as soon as you unpack.
3. Examine your yard.
Stagnant water is a notorious breeding ground for bugs, but leafy plants and trees can hold water and invite mosquitoes to your home as well. "This can be a perfect spot for mosquitoes to breed," Harrison says. "Look for holes in landscape timbers and in the turf that could be potential places for stinging insects to set up their nest."
Look carefully around the yard for trees and other plants that may be holding water, Harrison advises, and if you need help determining what to do with any problem areas you find, you can always call an Orkin® Pro for science-backed action plan on what to do next.