After months of gloomy skies the glorious weather this weekend served to remind that it was high time for a thorough spring clean. Bright sunshine shone through the windows to highlight tiny fingerprints and giant smears. It crept into dark corners illuminating unseen cobwebs and spotlit sunny shafts of particles, dancing and glittering like fairy dust.
However dust and dirt is anything but magical. It can support an eco-system of bugs and bacteria. If you have any spring cleaning tips or want some advice please share them at our #springclean twitter party 1-2pm, Thursday 10th March with cleaning superstar Aggie MacKenzie and pest prevention advice from the Rentokil team.
We picked this month for our spring cleaning twitter party because March is traditionally the time for a good old-fashioned clean. It’s finally warm enough to throw open windows and doors and let the wind blow the cobwebs away. Insects such as wasps and ants haven’t woken from their slumber yet so they won’t creep into your house.
When spring cleaning it’s important to make sure you get into cracks and crevices to get rid of pests. In your kitchen or bathroom you may disturb Silverfish which like moist, warm conditions. These small, torpedo shaped insects feed on food debris, starches and gums and are active at night, so you may have never seen them. Centipedes and millipedes may have crept indoors. Be sure to move potted plants off the floor. Millipedes live off leaves and may be attracted the warm, damp environment beneath the pot.
Wash linen on a hot wash and tumble dry to help kill bed bugs and dust mites. Take curtains and other soft furnishing to the dry cleaners. Beat the dust out of rugs to be rid of fleas and flea eggs. This is especially important if you have pets.
Remove dead flies quickly as they are a tasty snack for carpet beetles. Larvae from carpet beetles will roll up when disturbed. Their hairs may be an irritant to some people. Hoover tight up to the skirting and move furniture to get rid of the larvae known as woolly bears.
Cockroaches prefer humidity and high temperatures which is why they often favour kitchens. Cockroaches are a hardy species and can dine off a crumb for weeks so pull out your cooker and get into those other hard to reach places to stop pests invading.
If you find any wasps nests – leave them in situ as it will be plugging a gap. The queen would have left and she will be hibernating. The workers would have died over the winter. A queen wasp never returns to the same nest.
Spiders can be a particular nuisance in the home, not so much because so many people fear them but they create cobwebs. They are attracted to warm, dark small spaces, like wall cracks, corners, air vents, and in the eaves of your home. Spiders do eat flies but can survive on one a week. A far more effective solution to keep spiders out of your home is to cut off their food source. Stop flies from entering your home in the evening by blocking out the light with curtains and closing windows. Clean up after pets – not only are faeces the perfect breeding place for flies but also somewhere a fly may land before landing on your food.
March is also great time to clear your gutters from dead birds and rodents which can attract blue bottles. Flies carry a whole host of harmful germs and after their dinner on a deceased pigeon they may have their eye on that nice piece of cheese you left out for your lunch.
Spring clean your home well and you won’t be at the mercy of pests for the rest of the year. For more tips and advice send a tweet this Thursday marked #springclean.