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Tips to keep pesky critters at bay

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Raccoons are clever enough to open critter-proof containers.

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Raccoons are clever enough to open critter-proof containers.

Just as we become more active as the weather warms up, so too do animals and creepy-crawlies emerging from their winter hiding places in search of food. Keep them from becoming a nuisance in and around your home with these tips from Angie's List, (angieslist.com), a site dedicated to reviewing service providers.

Trim trees and bushes: Cut back tree limbs and branches that hang over your roof, since ants, squirrels or other rodents may find these overhanging branches are convenient ways to enter your home.

Clean up wood or debris: Piles of wood, leaves or other scraps near your home look very inviting to pests. "You might as well put up a vacancy sign for bugs, mice and other small animals seeking shelter," says an Angie's List release.

Seal windows and doors: Bugs can fit through the tiniest of holes, so repairing cracks or other openings in windows, doors, screens and siding can go a long way toward preventing a pest problem.

Outdoor lights: Moths and other bugs are attracted to light and will gather around almost any source. Keep bugs from swarming your doorways by turning off outdoor lights when they aren't needed. Or, switch to a coloured bulb, which is less attractive to insects than white bulbs.

Secure containers: To keep rodents and other animals from turning your garbage can or green bin into an all-hours buffet, make sure its lid is sealed tightly or keep it in a closed garage or shed. Keep inside garbage areas clean as well.

Clean up after your pet: Pet food is a good find for animals and bugs. Store pet food in air-tight containers and clean up spills right away.

Keep the kitchen clean: Food left lying around is irresistible to critters. Put away any leftovers, wipe the counters clean and sweep up any fallen crumbs on a daily basis. To combat drain flies, which are common kitchen pests, keep your drains as clean as possible by flushing them regularly with vinegar. Keeping the sink clear of dishes is also good practice when pest-proofing your home.

Get it inspected: Angie's List suggests having your home inspected by a professional every now and then even if you don't suspect a problem. Have them check for carpenter ants and bed bugs as well.

-- Postmedia Network Inc. 2013

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 2, 2013 F5

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