Seven tips for combating household and yard pests

Don’t let pests get comfortable in your home.
Don’t let pests get comfortable in your home. Fresno Bee file

Q: I’ve noticed that ever since the weather started warming up, pests have been running around my house and my yard. I like having the windows open and I like having parties, but I don’t want that ruined by bugs. What can I do?

A: Enjoying the great outdoors is what spring is all about! I, too, love to be outdoors and leave my windows open, so I feel your pain.

Blair Looney

Here are some things you can do to cut down on the bug population in and around your home:

▪ To avoid having pests inside your home, the first line of defense is to not let them in. Check all your screens for holes, check windows and doors for gaps, and be sure to spray around your home.

▪ Standing water is like a breeding ground to mosquitoes. Increase water circulation by adding a fountain or waterfall to reduce the stagnation that allows them to breed.

▪ There’s nothing ants and other insects love more than a kitchen counter covered in crumbs. Be sure to wipe down your counters, sweep the floors, take out the trash and put food away immediately in an airtight container.

Be sure to eat any fruits and veggies before they get overly ripe, as fruit flies, ants and other bugs will start to invade them.

Also, don’t throw meat away outside too soon, as unwanted pests will start invading your yard at an alarmingly fast rate. Throw away meat if trash will be picked up within the next day or two as the mix of heat and rotting meat will create unpleasant problems.

▪ The cleaner your entire home is, the less likely a pest will be attracted to it. A messy house for you is like a castle for pests, and it is also easier for them to hide from you. Keep your house clean and regularly vacuum your floors to be sure no crumbs are left on the ground.

▪ Regularly inspect your swings, and other outdoor furniture for spiders, webs, egg sacks, and other bugs that may have made a home out of your furniture. If you see one, be sure to remove it.

Also, wipe down outdoor furniture regularly, but especially before bringing them into your home.

▪ If you like to have wood stacked and ready to go for bonfires, then make sure to put it as far away from your house as possible, as termites and other bugs will gain free access to your home.

If possible, stack the firewood in a rack above ground.

▪ Having a pest control company to come in and spray can provide you with more protection than doing it on your own, as they may use stronger chemicals to control pests than what’s available in store-bought sprays.

Action Line is written by Blair Looney, president and CEO for the Better Business Bureau serving Central California. Send your consumer concerns, questions and problems to Action Line at the Better Business Bureau, 2600 W. Shaw Lane, Fresno, CA 93711 or