1.     Decks and porches. Leaves and other debris under decks, in window wells and behind bushes should be removed to eliminate decaying organic matter as well.

2.     Deck flashing. Ensure all deck and porch flashing is in good repair to prevent water build up and leaks into your home. It has been our experience that a great number of carpenter ant infestations originate from leaks between sliding glass doors and decks or porches.

3.     Excessive plant cover on and around your home. Vines and shrubbery growing on decks, and up the side of your home should be removed or at least well-trimmed. This will eliminate dampness and decaying organic matter which may provide a food source and harborage for insects. Continued dampness may lead to wood rot and become susceptible to carpenter ants.

4.     Dead and rotten trees & stumps. Remove dead or rotten trees and stumps from around your home. Termites and other wood destroying insects commonly feed in these areas.

5.     Overhanging tree limbs. Carpenter ants commonly nest in trees and stumps; and use branches and vines to gain access into structures. Trimming tree limbs that are in contact or overhang your home will reduce access for these ants as well as access for squirrels.

6.     Proper lighting. To avoid attracting many flying insects out of the woods and into your home at night, use indirect instead of direct lighting. Also use sodium filled (yellow) light bulbs rather than mercury-filled bulbs. Move lighting away from your home and direct it toward your home to lure flying insects, spiders and earwigs away from the house instead of attracting them to it.

7.     Pet bedding. Wash or replace pet bedding, pet blankets and pet pillows this time of year to reduce the occurrence of fleas. Vacuum all pet resting and sleeping areas to eliminate flea eggs. Vacuuming is helpful in removing fleas from closets, behind and under furniture, and in other so called "quiet zones."

8.     Torn window, door and attic vent screens. Tears and holes should be repaired to prevent flies, mosquitoes, stinging insects and cluster flies from entering your home.