NATIONAL INSPECT AND
PROTECT WEEK: INSPECT CHECKLIST
Ignorance is NOT bliss when it comes to pest problems in and around your home. Follow these easy
steps to identify and protect your home, lawn, and, while you’re at it, your family and pets, too. The Debug
the Myths INSPECT acronym helps divide the inspection process into easy to-follow steps. Just tackle the
task one step at a time.
Investigate your home and yard for clues that pests may
be present. You never know where they may be lurking,
so keep your eyes open.
Don’t leave it to guesswork! Study up on your area’s
common pests and the damage they can cause or signs
you discovered while inspecting. It is important to learn
more about the pests causing problems and the damage
they can cause.
Plan how to most effectively solve your pest problem.
Proper planning includes understanding the safe and
correct ways eliminate and manage pests.
Now it’s time to put your plan in place. Start by
eliminating pests’ access points into your home and
eliminating food, water, and shelter that may be attracting
these uninvited guests.
Maintaining a clean and tidy home and lawn is essential
for discouraging pests from calling your home theirs.
Proactive and preventative treatment is key to keeping
pests under control. Properly treating for problems
proactively or at the first sign of infestations will keep your
Check a box as you complete each step. Don’t worry about doing it all at once – add more checked boxes
as you have time. Think about going through these lists with your kids – so they begin to understand the
problems pests can cause as well as be on the look-out for signs of pests. Inspecting and protecting your
home helps keep your family and pets healthy and pest-free.
Use a screwdriver, or other tool, to check Remove all piles of cardboard from your
for cracks and crevices in home walls and home. Cardboard provides an attractive
foundation. If you can fit that tool through home and meal for pests.
the crack, it probably needs some repair. Check behind storage cabinets, boxes and
Seal all points of entry – such as spaces other rarely disturbed areas for pest nests.
around pipes and electrical wiring entering Tidy up the garage regularly. A clean-swept
home – with caulk, expanding foam or, and uncluttered garage will keep the
steel wool. pests out.
Use weather stripping around outside doors
if you can see daylight under or around the
frame. Occasionally replace the plastic
weather trim to make sure sliding glass Check for leaking water lines under the sink
doors close tightly. and in the shower/tub area.
Clean faucets and shower heads.
Store food items in air-tight and pest-proof
containers or in the refrigerator or freezer. Replace hoses and washers on washing
Check for water leaks under the sink, machine as needed. Water leaks provide a
refrigerator, and other related areas. desirable water source for pests.
Search for cockroach egg casings under Clean lint from dryer vent system.
sinks and for insects and their larvae in
flour, pasta and other dry goods. BEDROOM:
Shake out paper grocery bags to ensure
that pests aren’t hitching a ride home with you. Keep the bedroom clean and uncluttered.
Tidy up the garbage area. Leaving a trash Don’t allow food and drink! Crumbs and
bag out will attract ants, bees, wasps and liquids attract pests.
other pests like raccoons.
CRAWL SPACE/ATTIC/STORAGE CLOSET: Replace heating/cooling air filters
Inspect the attic for roof rats entering from
the roof. Freshen drains with baking soda and
Store all of your valued heirlooms in locked,
plastic containers. Don’t forget your pests! Wash the dog, keep
pet food containers tightly-sealed, and don’t
leave your pet’s food in its bowl overnight.
Pests will consider it a midnight feast.
AROUND THE HOUSE:
Clean any debris, leaves or other clutter by Pull mulch away from foundation walls.
or near your air conditioner compressor. Don’t allow mulch to build up against your
Clean window screens with a mild detergent foundation and cover your siding; however,
solution. Rinse with a garden hose and allow do use a three-inch layer of mulch around
to dry thoroughly. planting beds to reduce weed growth.
Clean leaves and trash out from under Remove all shrubbery or ornamental
decks, porches, and gutters. plants within 12 inches of your foundation.
Ensure proper drainage from your house.
Don’t allow water to stand for more than LAWN:
a day. Standing water can lead to
mosquitoes or wood rot, which could Remove all standing water in areas such
bring other problems. as pots, buckets, toys, pet bowls, bird
Check siding for small openings or cracks, baths, etc.
seal accordingly. Inspect your lawn and plants for brown spots
Brick homes can settle, which allows mortar or other irregularities (e.g., black streaks or
to loosen and allow access to spiders, ants, spots, milky or white appearance, mildew).
cockroaches and other crawling pests. Check tree branches and leaves for pest
For pier and beam foundations, keep the damage, such as small, chewed holes.
area under the house free of clutter and Mow your lawn regularly and watch for
sealed so no wildlife make it home. weeds. Weeds such as ragweed and
Check roof for buckling/sagging, damaged poison ivy can contribute to allergies and
shingles or signs of cracking or leaking in skin irritation. Properly caring for your lawn
the flashing at the chimney and joints. will help make these weeds easier to spot
Inspect eaves and overhangs for signs of and treat.
birds, squirrels, or other pests trying to
enter through soffit vents. GENERAL:
Keep your outdoor space tidy. Don’t allow
LANDSCAPING: trash, clutter, lawn equipment and other
Maintain shrubs, ornamental flower beds items to pile up around your house. Store
and trees. Clean out ornamental and flower all your equipment inside a shed or garage.
beds each spring and fall to ensure that Move wood piles away from the house.
mulch is in place. This helps prevent hidden Keep garbage cans away from
problems from becoming more significant. home entrances.
Prune back tree branches that are touching
the house or roof. Branches leading to your
home structure provide access points for
insects and rodents.
Keep grass and dirt three-inches below the