Spring is the season when everyone starts focusing on tidying up, both inside and out. Home repair and landscaping projects that have been on your to-do list for months finally become urgent as you make spring cleaning your priority. Good cleaning and maintenance are important for pest control, but you’ll want to make sure you don’t make any of these landscaping mistakes — which can actually attract certain pests — in the process.

Leaving Yard Debris in a Pile

You spend all Saturday raking up the leaves you should have cleaned up last fall, and you even trim a few shrubs. But what do you do with the debris? Some homeowners leave it in a pile, perhaps in an obscure corner of their property, with plans to burn it at a later date. However, if that pile lingers too long, it may become the perfect nest for rodents, skunks, and even ticks.

Clean up your spring lawn debris ASAP. Reach out to your city’s waste management program. They may pick up yard debris from the street every few weeks; schedule your yard cleanup around their schedule. Alternatively, make plans to burn your debris within days of the cleanup.

Planting Trees Too Close to Your Foundation

If you’ve been wanting to add some color to your landscape, you may plant a dogwood or crabapple bush in your garden bed. Such bushes do add vibrancy to your yard, but you must be careful not to plant them too close to the side of your home.

Tree roots may place pressure on your foundation, leading to cracks. A cracked foundation may allow moisture into your home, and moisture attracts all sorts of pests, from centipedes to silverfish. Pests may also use the branches to hitch a ride into your home via a window.

When planting a large tree, place it at least 20 feet from the side of your home. Plant medium trees 15 feet away, and small trees at least 10 feet away.

Planting Certain Herbs

An herb garden is a nice addition to your landscape, but be careful which herbs you plant. Sweet fennel, yarrow, and spearmint are all known to attract wasps. If you do want to plant these herbs, plant them toward the back of the property so that you won’t be so at risk for stings if wasps visit them. Closer to your home, plant some lavender, lemongrass, rosemary, and basil — these herbs are known to repel insects, including mosquitoes.

Overwatering Your Lawn

You want your grass to grow, so you water it. Too much water, however, is an invitation to pests like grubs, moles, and even grasshoppers. Make sure you test your soil before watering. If it is still moist a few inches down, you do not need to water yet. If you have a sprinkler system, be sure to adjust its schedule, applying less water in the early spring when temperatures are cooler.

Piling Mulch Against Your Foundation

Mulch can really transform the look of a garden bed, and it helps keep soil moist so that plants grow better, too. Unfortunately, trapping too much moisture in the soil can also attract pests, such as termites, to the area. If you plan to mulch your garden this spring, follow these rules:

    • Leave six inches between the mulch and the side of your home.
    • Use a layer two inches thin or thinner to limit moisture accumulation.
    • Watch the mulched area vigilantly for pests and insects.

    Everyone wants gorgeous landscaping, but you don’t want to attract pests as you attempt to improve your yard and land. Take steps to avoid the mistakes above, and if you do notice signs of any pests this spring, contact Environmental Services Pest Control, LLC .