The snow is starting to melt, and spring has begun. It’s important to make sure you are utilizing these wood care tips around your home to prevent pest issues.
Probably the most exposed wood feature of your home is your deck when pests are the topic
There are a few things to know about wood care for your deck and home now that spring is here. The first step is identifying pests that might damage the wood.
Depending on what part of the world you live in, some pests may or may not be a factor for you. We’ll list the most common ones you should keep on your watch list.
Termites: The upper-Midwest usually doesn’t have to worry about these like states with warmer climates, but they can really do some intense structural damage to your deck and other wood features of your home.
Wasps: These pests can chew wood into pulp and also make paper nests out of it. They can do minor damage to your deck, but they can also build nests under or on it as well. Wasps can be dangerous for those with allergies and sting sensitivity. These aggressive pests usually sting and attack in groups. If you have wasp issues, be sure to reach out to a professional pest control service for removal.
Carpenter Ants: These guys tend to hit several places around the country and they are similar to termites in the fact that they like to live in and burrow through wood with the difference being that carpenter ants do not actually consume the wood. If your deck or other wood isn’t treated properly these pests could find their way inside.
Mice and Rodents: These pests don’t burrow through the wood, but they do like to gnaw and chew on it. They also can live under your deck and can make the overall structure weaker. If moisture is allowed to accumulate in untreated or unprotected wood, the wood may warp exposing new potential entry points for such critters.
Now that you know what pests to look for, what do you do to prevent them?
There are a few steps you can do on your own to prevent pests, however when it comes to removal, we recommend hiring a professional pest control service to do that. Some pests are less dangerous to tackle alone, however others like wasps can be extremely aggressive and situationally dangerous.
Also, many over-the-counter methods aren’t going to be as effective for removing pests and many have little to no residual effects as well. This means that you might kill a few pests but their likelihood of returning is much greater if you try and do your own pest control.
Preventive steps can come in a few forms when it comes to wood care. The first should be to properly seal the wood. You can do this with traditional wood sealers you can get from most hardware stores. The protective coating will make your deck or wood much less appealing for pests to chew on or burrow through. If old layers of paint or stain have begun to chip or peel, it is important to remove the old layer prior to applying the new, or the old may prematurely break apart the new.
Another step you can take is to keep harborage sites away from your deck or other wood structures. Harborage is the pest control term for places pests like to hide out or live. These could include things like bushes, shrubs, tall grasses, or trees. Keep in mind that even a single tree branch touching the home may provide a type of pest freeway to quick home access.
Take care to remove tree branches, leave piles, trim long grasses, or trim bushes that are touching your deck or other wood. When pests have an easy access point to the things you want to protect, it makes it hard to keep them out.
Wood care tips: Don’t let your deck be a home for mosquitoes and more
Another ongoing part of wood care to prevent pests is eliminate any excess access to water. Pests need water to live and in many cases to breed as well as the water may weaken the integrity of wooden structures.
Mosquitoes, for example, lay their eggs in standing water sources as small as bottle caps with some species only needing mud for their eggs. You might have water collecting under your deck and not even know it. Excess water left unchecked can be a great way for pests to stick around longer than you would like.
Be sure to clean up any spills and avoid leaving out pet dishes on your deck or around your home. The less you can provide access to water for pests the better.
Make sure you follow these wood care tips to prevent future pest issues and eliminate existing pests with the help of a pest control service to help keep your home and deck a safe place this year.
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