Preventing unwelcome insect houseguests
(NC) Insects often look for somewhere warm to stay when they sense the coming of the colder months. Even though many insects are beneficial in the garden, most of us would prefer that they remain outdoors.
While ladybugs, cluster flies and silverfish do not cause harm and are more of a nuisance, face flies and green blow flies pose a risk of food contamination due to their breeding and feeding habits. Flies that die in wall voids may attract larder beetles which will feed on the dead flies and then migrate to other areas of the house in search of food sources.
Insects gain entry through cracks or gaps in door and window frames, eaves, foundations and siding; by crawling along service utility piping; or by hitchhiking onto items we carry into our homes like paper, fabric and wood products.
To prevent their entry into your home:
• Plug holes in roofing, vents and attic walls.
• Install screening over air vents in soffits.
• Seal any cracks and crevices in the siding and foundation.
• Inspect and seal gaps in service utility entrances.
• Repair screens, caulk around windows and door jams, and apply weather-stripping.
To discourage their stay:
• Wrap or insulate pipes that have excessive condensation, repair leaky faucets and pipes, ventilate bathrooms and dehumidify areas of excess moisture.
• Keep countertops clean and vacuum floors regularly to remove food crumbs.
• Regularly clean around and behind appliances, inside cupboards, drawers and pantries, beneath sinks and other dark or humid locations.
More tips on how to manage these and other pests can be found online at www.healthycanadians.gc.ca or by contacting Health Canada's Pest Management Information Service toll-free at 1-800-267-6315, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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