General Pest Prevention

Pest Exclusion & Sanitation

  Print Article By DoMyOwn staff

Step 1


Preparation for a general pest control program will include two steps: sanitation and exclusion. Sanitation means more than cleaning up food that has been left out or sweeping up certain areas. Sanitation in the pest control industry means altering or eliminating the things pests need to live. Pests of all kinds require three essential needs to exist on your property - 1.Food source, 2. Water or moisture, 3. Harborage or a place to live. By removing or limiting the pest's food, water or harborage you will help make your property less attractive to pests.


  • Trim back trees and shrubs so that the branches and foliage do not touch your home and to allow more sun light to reach your lawn.
  • Trim up bushes and shrubs so that you can see beneath them to eliminate hiding areas for small animals, snakes and insects.
  • Rake back mulch, pine straw or other landscape bedding at least 6 inches from structure to create a that pests are likely to avoid.
  • Do not overwater your lawn or garden. In areas that seem to retain too much moisture, you may need to aerate your lawn to encourage draining.
  • Clean out gutters and downspouts frequently as insects and other pests are known to harbor in these areas.
  • Mow lawn as needed to keep growth low.
  • Remove grass clippings, leaf piles and stacked wood to eliminate harborages.
  • Store outdoor trash cans and dumpsters as far away from structure as possible and be sure they have tight fitting lids.
  • Thoroughly wash out trash cans and dumpsters with an ammonia solution when needed.

Step 2


Now that you have worked through the sanitation process and have eliminated as much of the pest's food, water and harborage as possible, you will need to limit the pests access to your structure.


  • Repair or replace torn or missing screens
  • Replace old or missing weather stripping and brush guards or sweeps
  • Seal any cracks, crevices or gaps on structure with Stuff It copper mesh, Xcluder cloth, expanding foam, caulk and/or hardware cloth
  • Repair or replace broken or missing vent covers

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