It’s virtually impossible to keep every last bug out of your home, but there is still plenty you can do to dramatically decrease their presence. When selling a home, it’s vital to do all you can to present a clean and attractive home during house showings, and that includes one that is (largely) free of any creepy crawlies!
Increased property market activity for Jackson and surrounding regions
With an average home value of $83,576, properties in Jackson have been increasing in value, with an 11.2% rise in the past 12 months. Madison properties have also increased by 15.7% to an average of $335k, homes in Brandon cost an average of $264K (up 12.3%), and Pearl properties are also up by 4.2%, sitting on an average of $199K.
There has been plenty of property value growth in the regions covered by Synergy2 in the past year. Coupled with an increase of 17.4% in the number of newly listed homes across Mississippi in the past year, there’s likely to be an increase in selling activity in the area. Given that the social distancing requirements of Covid-19 are also behind us, more and more homeowners are inevitably preparing their properties for showings.
To assist you in preparing your homes for viewings, here are ten key ways to bug-proof your home.
1. Install (and maintain) window and door screens
Installing fine-mesh screens on all windows and doors is one of the first steps in preventing bugs from entering your home. No one likes a musty indoor environment with no airflow, but airing your home with open doors and windows is an invitation for bugs to check the place out (and stay as long as they like).
The most popular time of year for wanting a natural flow of fresh air coming through the home is during the summer. The summer months can be hot and humid, which are the conditions that see mosquitoes and other bugs at their most active.
Adding screens to all windows and doors is the best way to enjoy a through-breeze day and night, without letting bugs into your home; just make sure you go for a mesh that is fine enough to keep them out. Maintaining your screens is equally as important, as the mesh is only as effective as it is intact.
2. Install mesh on attic & crawl space vents
While we’re on the subject of mesh, don’t forget to secure any gaps in your attic or crawl spaces; without effective barriers, these areas are popular with larger pests, such as mice and squirrels, and these animals can bring smaller pests, such as fleas and mites, into your home.
3. Seal around all doors and windows
Once you’ve got the screens in place, it’s time to address any gaps around the windows and doors; if light or air is coming through any gaps around the outside of your windows and doors, it’s very accessible for bugs too.
Use caulk to seal up around the joints between the window/door frames and the walls (including the bottom), and consider adding door seals or weatherstripping around the inside of the frames to keep the closed seal nice and tight. Additionally, you can add door sweeps to the bottom of your doors for further protection.
4. Seal up any remaining cracks
Just like gaps around your windows and doors, any cracks in your exterior walls can also provide bugs with an easy entry point.
Depending on the material you are sealing, caulk may be the solution. Larger damage to brickwork may require mortar, for example, but for any smaller cracks throughout the perimeter of the home, caulk is cheap, easy to use, and effective for filling up gaps or cracks in foundations, walls, sidings, and more.
5. Stick to an organized garbage regime
One of the (arguably) easiest ways to keep bugs away is to empty your garbage regularly and keep the receptacles clean. Bugs are attracted to smells and food sources in the garbage, so it makes sense to keep your bins as fresh as possible. Use plastic garbage bags, tightly tie them before taking them outside, and regularly rinse out your cans.
In the depths of summer, it can also be helpful to put any food scraps into a plastic bag and keep it in the freezer until garbage day to keep from attracting the bugs. Also, don’t forget that your recycling bins can also attract insects and pests, with sticky, sweet-smelling leftovers such as beer and soda irresistible to bugs.
6. Keep your house clean and tidy
Along with the garbage, it’s important to keep your home generally clean and tidy to minimize the presence of unwanted bugs; this is particularly important in the kitchen, where sources of food and water will inevitably attract bugs. Avoid leaving dirty dishes lying around, clean up spills straight away, and regularly wipe surfaces and clean the floors. Storing pantry food in airtight containers is also ideal for freshness as well as keeping bugs away.
General clutter around the home can also increase the bug population in your home, especially if it is stuff that stays in the same spot for a long time; ideal for bugs to hide under, reproducing in vast numbers without detection.
7. Fix leaks and eliminate excess moisture
Many bugs are attracted to water sources, and most need some humidity to survive and thrive. Damp issues in the home are important to tackle in any case, but also to avoid insects moving in. So, fix any leaks in your plumbing system, and make sure that any water that enters your property after heavy rains is effectively dried out.
8. Keep your foundations clear
Foundations are often the most likely place to find infestations, such as termites, spiders, and ants. Given that these types of bugs and insects thrive in wet areas, it’s vital to keep your foundations clear of debris. Leaving piles of mulch, cut grass, or wood against your foundations is asking for trouble.
9. Clean up after your pets
Fleas aren’t the only bugs that your pet can inadvertently bring into your home. Bugs are looking for food sources, and some may make a bee line for your pet’s food. While most bugs are generally harmless to your pet, some can cause upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea. So, be sure to keep your pet’s food in an airtight container and clean their food dishes regularly.
It’s also a good idea to stay on top of keeping your pet’s bedding and toys clean for general cleanliness as well as hygiene against bugs, fleas, etc. Of course, it’s vital to regularly clean out your cat’s litter box and remove your dog’s business from the yard daily.
10. Maintain a tidy yard
Just as piles of debris along foundations are less than ideal, the accumulation of any organic matter in your yard, in general, isn’t ideal if you’re trying to keep bugs at bay.
Maintaining a tidy yard can noticeably reduce the number of bugs that find their way into your home. So, mow your lawn regularly, avoid leaving piles of clippings, mulch, or other matter around, and keep your bushes and tree branches trimmed back – especially out of the reach of the house itself.
In addition, make sure to keep your drainage channels and gutters clear of debris, and look out for any areas where pools of water can form and sit for long periods of time – bugs love moisture and mosquitoes, especially as they lay their eggs in bodies of water.
There’s plenty to do when it comes to preparing a home for showings – when it comes to minimizing the presence of bugs, the sooner you act, the better. Once you have all of the necessary measures in place, it’s just a matter of staying on top of maintenance to keep your home relatively bug-free and desirable to buyers!
Synergy² Pest Control Jackson MS
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