Spring Cleaning for Pest Prevention

Spring has arrived and with many Californians at home due to local coronavirus directives, now could be an opportune time for some spring cleaning. This annual ritual also has the benefit of preventing and reducing indoor pests.

Cleaning and decluttering removes access to food, water, and shelter for pests such as ants, cockroaches, pantry pests, mice, and spiders. Here are a few tips to help you prevent pests and reduce potential pest infestations.

Kitchens and Pantries

  • Wipe down countertops, clean off pantry shelves, and keep dry goods in tightly sealed containers to prevent pantry pests, cockroaches, and ants.
  • Clean up spilled food or dirty dishes to remove potential food sources.
  • Mop and vacuum floors to remove food and debris.
  • Use sticky traps or pheromone traps to monitor and detect cockroaches and pantry pests.


Living Spaces and Closets

  • Vacuum floors, especially along baseboards, and beneath furniture to reduce or prevent infestations of clothes moths, fleas, carpet beetles, and other pests.
  • Launder bedding, blankets, cushion covers and other washable articles to kill clothes moths and carpet beetles. Clean fabrics are also less attractive to pests.
  • Reduce clutter to remove hiding places and make pest infestations easier to spot.


Storage Areas Indoors and Out

  • Store pet food in closed airtight containers, rinse empty beverage containers, and secure lids on garbage containers to reduce ants, rats, and opossums.
  • Seal cracks and openings in foundations and around pipes, wires, and vents to reduce access to garages, basements, or attics by rats, mice, or raccoons.
  • Organize belongings in airtight containers such as plastic bins. Store off the floor and away from walls to reduce clutter in storage areas and deny access to pests like carpet beetles, mice, and spiders.
  • Use snap traps to control rats and mice indoors.

For more information on indoor and outdoor pests, visit the UC IPM website.