Snowbirds: A Pest-Focused Checklist Before You Head Back Up North
For snowbirds marking their annual return up north, there’s no doubt that the checklist of tasks to prepare for departure can seem overwhelming. One area you shouldn’t neglect when preparing your home is pest prevention – if you leave untreated and inviting sources of food and shelter behind, unwelcome visitors could make themselves at home while you’re away, necessitating even more costly interventions down the road. So be sure to consider a few simple steps with pests in mind before locking up your house and heading out of town.
Clean and defrost the unplugged refrigerator and freezer. Empty the ice maker. Leave the doors open to prevent mold and mildew inside.
Clean the oven and outdoor grill.
Take out all the trash.
Empty the food trap in your dishwasher and leave the door open.
Check seals around exterior doors and windows to ensure no pests can enter the home. Replace door sweeps and weather stripping if needed.
Repair screens that have holes or rips.
Cover sinks, toilet bowls, toilet tanks, and floor drains with plastic wrap.
Shut off and drain outdoor water faucets and hoses.
Inspect your roof and make repairs if needed.
Schedule lawn maintenance throughout the summer to maintain a “lived in” appearance and prevent pest activity from building in the lawn.
Caulk any holes in exterior walls.
Eliminate all food sources that could attract or help feed pests, including dog food, open trash cans, compost piles, bird feed on the ground, etc.
Eliminate wood and cardboard from lying on the property.
Clean out any gutters or drains that may be clogged with debris.
Have your home professionally treated for pests before you leave.
In conclusion, when preparing for your trip back up north, it is important to inspect all areas of your home for pests. Doing all of these steps will not only ensure pesky guests aren’t checking in while you’re away, but will also make sure that you have peace of mind upon your return. Going through a checklist before departing ensures that you have everything taken care of so you can truly relax until you come back!