SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

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Terminix® Offers Tips for Spring Cleaning

Simple, DIY fixes can help keep pests away all season

MEMPHIS, Tenn., March 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As the nation recovers from the polar vortex and looks ahead to warmer weather, many homeowners are engaging in spring cleaning to spruce up their homes. Terminix®, the world's largest pest control provider, offers some simple tips to help reduce activity from the most common pests emerging in the months to come.

Terminix logo.

Home Exteriors

  • Water from rain gutters should be directed away from the home and not be allowed to accumulate close to the foundation.
  • Mosquitoes that bite in a person's yard are usually breeding nearby on the property or adjacent properties. Regularly empty standing water found in outdoor pots, saucers, barrels and "kiddie pools." Empty and refill birdbaths at least once a week.
  • Switch outdoor lighting from mercury vapor lamps to sodium vapor lamps to attract fewer mosquitoes. Mercury vapor lights can be used to light areas and help to lure insects away from the house at night.
  • Use a mesh screen on all windows, doors and ventilation openings. Screening will help prevent winged termites, mosquitoes and other flying insects from entering the home.

Home Interiors

  • Clean counters and floors regularly to eliminate food scraps that attract ants and cockroaches, and put away food in sealed containers. Do not allow pet food to sit out overnight.
  • Pay extra attention to under appliances and sinks, as these areas are particularly vulnerable to cockroach infestations.
  • Springtime is when many homeowners start leaving their pets outside more often, where they can unknowingly pick up pests such as fleas and ticks. In the event that they are brought into the home, fleas and ticks can hide in carpet fibers, furniture and crevices year-round. Vacuum regularly to combat these disease-carrying pests.

Basements, Garages and Attics

  • Fix roof or plumbing leaks. The moisture from these allows termites to survive above ground.
  • Ensure the attics and/or crawl spaces have sufficient ventilation.  Research shows that proper ventilation creates an environment unsuitable for cockroaches and other pests.

Landscaping

  • Avoid using plants like roses, shrubs and fruit trees that are prone to aphids and similar insects, which ants use as a primary food source. Layers of mulch and heavy vegetative ground covers hold the moisture needed by ants to thrive.
  • Keep grass mowed, weeds pulled and leaf litter managed to deter fleas and ticks. Also trim tree branches and shrubs around the lawn edge to allow more sunlight penetration.
  • Eliminate wood-to-soil contact. Any wood that simultaneously touches the soil and the home can provide termites with direct access to the structure. This includes keeping firewood or other wood debris from being stacked against the side of the home.
  • Use soil to fill in low areas in lawns and landscaped sections where rainwater may accumulate and stand for more than seven days, which is all the time a mosquito needs to breed.
  • Install an agitator in garden ponds or buy fish that eat mosquito larvae. The wave actions created by an agitator discourage female mosquitoes from laying eggs.

About Terminix®
Terminix® is the world's largest pest control provider. Headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., Terminix services approximately 3 million residential and commercial customers in 47 states and 14 countries. Terminix provides pest control services and protection against termites, rodents and other pests threatening human health and/or safety. Terminix is a business unit of The ServiceMaster Company, LLC, one of the world's largest residential and commercial service networks. The company's brands include Terminix, American Home Shield®, ServiceMaster Clean®, Merry Maids®, Furniture Medic® and AmeriSpec®. To learn more about Terminix, visit www.Terminix.com.

About ServiceMaster
With a global network of more than 7,000 company-owned, franchise and licensed locations, Memphis-based The ServiceMaster Company, LLC, is one of the world's largest residential and commercial service networks. The company's high-profile brands are Terminix®, American Home Shield®, ServiceMaster Clean®, Merry Maids®, Furniture Medic® and AmeriSpec®. Through approximately 13,000 corporate associates and a franchise network that independently employs an estimated 33,000 additional people, the ServiceMaster family of brands provided services and products to approximately 5 million customers during the last 12 months. The company's market-leading brands provide a range of residential and commercial services including termite and pest control; home warranties and preventative maintenance contracts; furniture repair; home inspections; home cleaning; janitorial services; and disaster restoration. Go to www.servicemaster.com for more information about ServiceMaster or follow the company at twitter.com/ServiceMaster or facebook.com/TheServiceMasterCo.

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SOURCE Terminix

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