The snowbird pest check list

This is that time of year when I say goodbye to a lot of my fine customers. They pack up and leave sunny soon to be ungodly hot Florida for their home up north. Most are busy putting the lawn furniture up in the shed, turning the water off and giving the neighbor whose staying keys and instructions. Now some are key accounts and we’ll faithfully service their home while they are gone which is what I recommend but others will resume their treatments when they get back. Regardless of your choice there are still a few things you should do to prepare your home for the months that it will be empty because insects quite frankly don’t care if you’re there or not. They’ll still invade and at times it’s worse than if you had been there. Here is a snowbird check list that should help you out greatly and keep your winter castle bug free for the next time you migrate south.

#1. Have your home professionally treated;

Now if you’ve had service all along and will continue while you’re gone this can wait for your next regular visit. If you don’t have service or are suspending it- it is in your best interest to get it done by a professional. If you want to do it yourself you can of course but just be as thorough as possible and I would recommend plenty of void treatments with dusts.

#2 Stop the moisture

It really doesn’t matter that you are not there as far as bugs finding food, they’ll get along fine believe me. What will sustain them even longer however will be moisture and just because you don’t have the pet bowls down they’ll thrive in a humid home. You can effectively draw moisture from the air by putting large pans of kitty litter around the home. I tell my customers to use the tin foil type pans used for turkeys. You can also place 3 or 4 charcoal briquets on the top of the litter to help with not only moisture but also odors. You don’t need a pan in every room but 3 or 4 well placed pans will do nicely.

#3 Plastic wrap your toilet and seal off your sinks

This is huge if you are going to turn your water off for the time you’re gone. Once the toilet becomes empty it becomes a ready made entry for pests who may be living in the system and placing plastic over the seat seals it off. To seal off the sink drains you can simply close the drains or fill a plastic baggy with water, tie it off and set it down over the drain. These simple steps do wonders for stopping pests that can originate in drains like gnats and roaches.

#4 Don’t forget the mice

Sure it’ll be summer while you’re gone but rodents still might take advantage of your absence. You don’t need to place bait all throughout your empty home but perhaps a box of bait under the kitchen sink, one in the laundry and any garage or shed. The mice or rats are very good at finding food so don’t think you need to leave it in the open, they’ll find it.

Of course you want to seal up any obvious entry points such as cracks in the wall or loose screens and make sure all your doors and thresholds are well sealed but the above short list will go along ways to keeping unwanted bugs out of your home while you are gone. Anythings better than nothing and may make the difference of little or no surprises when you get back. Just remember there will be one thing waiting for you when you return ready to go and happy to see you-that would be your friendly pest professional whose always glad when his snowbirds return.

About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. Pestcemetery.com was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.
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  • Rob

    Great advice! We don’t have a ton of snowbirds in Texas, but my father lives in St. Pete in the winter and leaves for the mountains of Tennessee in the summer, so I will pass this information along to him. Thanks for the info!

  • Rob

    Great advice! We don’t have a ton of snowbirds in Texas, but my father lives in St. Pete in the winter and leaves for the mountains of Tennessee in the summer, so I will pass this information along to him. Thanks for the info!

  • The Bug Doctor

    Thanks Rob,

    If he were only a 1/2 hour closer I’d sign him up as a customer–or maybe hire him 🙂 Great looking website you have! Looks like your customers are in good hands.

    Thanks for reading, I’ll see you on Facebook & hopefully back here.
    The Bug Doctor

  • The Bug Doctor

    Thanks Rob,

    If he were only a 1/2 hour closer I’d sign him up as a customer–or maybe hire him 🙂 Great looking website you have! Looks like your customers are in good hands.

    Thanks for reading, I’ll see you on Facebook & hopefully back here.
    The Bug Doctor