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Summer Chores That Will Protect Your Home From Pests

(ARA) - Now that summer is here, the kids are home from school and vacations beckon; but before you head off on the adventure of a lifetime, there are a few things you need to take care of on the home front.

Bugs aren’t much of a concern during the winter and spring, but now that summer is here, they are back with a vengeance. If you haven’t done it recently, take a walk around the yard and garden and look for signs of carpenter ants and termites -- two pests with the potential to cause lots of damage. Look in trees and turn over landscape timbers. If you find swarms of large ants both with wings and without, chances are good you have a problem; and not just in the backyard, but in your home.

Pests like to be indoors for the same reasons people do -- warmth, food, water, and shelter -- and they have any number of ways to get in. According to the Terminex pest control company, cracks and crevices around your windows or foundation, and gutters clogged with leaves and debris are the easiest entry points.

To prevent bugs from getting in through the cracks and crevices, the best thing to do is spray your home’s exterior monthly with a professional grade spray. To prevent them from making a home in the debris that collects in your gutters, keep them clear. But that can be difficult, especially if you have a high-pitched roof a ladder can’t easily reach, or live in an area with a lot of mature trees. Some people need to clean their gutters three, four, or five times a year to keep them clear, but if you install a closed gutter protection system like Gutter Helmet, you’ll never have to clean them again.

The system installs right on top of your existing gutters, serving as a cover that prevents leaves and other debris bugs thrive on from getting into the gutters. Water, however, travels freely, making its way down the roof and into the gutter channel through a continuous 3/8 inch horizontal opening.

“It’s important to keep your gutters clear of debris not just from the standpoint of stopping the entry point for bugs, but to protect the integrity of your home’s structure as well,” says David Skelton of Gutter Helmet. In addition to contributing to problems with bugs, clogged gutters can lead to water backup which causes rotten fascia and soffits, mold in attics and crawl spaces, cracked foundations and landscaping erosion.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, clogged gutters also contribute significantly to the West Nile epidemic because they provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes. In 2003, there were 9,862 reported cases of infection in humans across the United States and 264 deaths.

“There are no statistics on how many of these cases were caused by mosquitoes breeding in gutters, but I think it’s safe to venture that the numbers are high. People are heeding the warnings to empty out birdbaths, tires and flowerpots, but no one thinks of going up on the roof to clear their gutters,” says Skelton. “With Gutter Helmet, you don’t have to.”

The system is capable of handling up to 22 inches of rain per hour -- twice as much rain as has ever been recorded according to the U.S. Weather Bureau -- and can sustain deep snowfalls.

In the 25 years Gutter Helmet has been around, the device has been installed on nearly a half million homes. To find a Gutter Helmet dealer near you, log on to the company’s Web site: or call (888) 4-HELMET.

Courtesy of ARA Content,  e-mail: 

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