I’m hesitant to say this, but we may as well stop procrastinating….July is just around the corner. And that means Christmas isn’t too far off either…or at least that’s the way I’m feeling. Heck, I hadn’t finished putting up the Christmas lights before it was time to take them down. So just where does the time go? And why does it leave so much faster now?

After having written 40 articles in The Dock Line, I think that I have touched on just about all of the important insect issues that most property owners either have experienced or prevented from occurring. Therefore, you will possibly read some repeat material, but sometimes we need things repeated before we take them to heart. For instance, this article will be about preparing your property for the early months of spring so that you can enjoy the summer months. Additionally, over the next 60 days the weather should be more tolerable…not too cold and not too hot…hopefully.

Let’s begin the process by preparing a list of what you need to inspect or identify. You don’t need some spread sheet or complicated form, just grab a pen and paper and transfer the following items. Starting on the exterior of the roof line…make certain your gutters are not clogged and leaking; identify areas of rotting wood on the fascia; identify openings in vents, soffits and siding; identify tree limbs that come in contact with the structure. Should you have any of these items, you really need to correct them. If left alone, you are encouraging all sorts of insects to enter and take up residence and further destroy your property.

Now let’s inspect around the foundation area of the property. (And, I’m going to list these in the order that I would correct them, if I had identified these issues.) Firewood, other items or storage bins placed next to the structure need to be relocated to expose the foundation for inspection. Limbs and shrubs should be 12-24 inches away from the walls. Vines should not be allowed to grow on the structure. Ground covers need to be kept at a minimum of 12 inches from the foundation. The soil/mulch/grass line needs to be 4-6 inches from the top of the slab. Identify openings and repair or fill with copper mesh. Leaking faucets or A/C drip lines should be repaired. Should your property have an accumulation of spider webs and egg casings, this would now be the perfect time to pressure wash the exterior, prior to applying a fresh chemical barrier.

If you will take the time to identify and correct those items that you may have on your property, you will be surprised at the level of insect protection you will achieve. Initially you may see more insects after performing these corrections, but that’s because you have disturbed their environment and they are searching for a new party place. At this point , you are now in a position to begin treating your property and recognizing maximum protection from invading insects.

This is also the perfect time to begin that war with the fire ants. My suggestion is to allow a licensed pest control operator to apply the product ,Top Choice, to your property. This product is distributed on the lawn and shrub bed areas and will give you 12 months of protection. It’s a onetime per year application and is guaranteed for one year. No, it doesn’t work quickly, but it works better than anything else that I have seen and really needs to be applied early to enhance prevention. The cost for this application can range from $115 to several hundred dollars, depending on the size of the property. Think about how much you spent last year on those other products, the amount of time you spent treating the mounds, and the satisfaction level….this Top Choice application just might be less expensive and free up more of your time for more enjoyable events.

If you have a particular insect that you would like for me to discuss, please email me at chasepestcontrol@consolidated.net or you can visit our web site at chasepestcontrol.com for a link to the Texas A&M Entomology Department. As always, if you would like to have professional pest control services for your home or office we stand ready to serve…”Protecting People, Pets and Property since 1997”.