Maintenance is key to preventing pests

Oregon weather is finally turning to bright and clear. Our consistent moisture encourages the plant life we appreciate, as well as green things not so good for our homes. Pests also enjoy this growing season and pose challenges for homeowners.

Synergy Restoration and Construction, with experience in home and business construction, repair and disaster recovery, has some suggestions for dealing with potential problems.

Roof moss is rampant in our area. Its buildup holds water that can damage shingles and underlayment. And its appearance detracts from a home's value. But preventive treatment is relatively simple and straightforward.

Zinc strips are the best long-term moss control solution. Nailed to roof ridges, rain run-off carries the chemicals to kill moss and fungus. The only risk is to other plants around the home, especially if there are no gutters to remove the runoff. Existing moss should be removed before the zinc is installed.

Potassium salts, either sprayed or sprinkled, kill existing moss but are not consistently reliable in keeping moss from returning. Once potassium is applied, you need to wait for the moss to die, and then remove it. It is generally environmentally friendly, but is toxic to water-living invertebrates. It should not be used when rain is soon likely.

Bleach, mixed one-to-one with water is highly effective roof moss killer; however it can dry out and stain roofing materials and is toxic to animal and plant life. Its spray and run-off must be carefully controlled. Consider hydrogen peroxide, mixed with water and applied with a garden-type sprayer, as a safer alternative.

Plants and landscaping care and maintenance are typically plant-specific, but some general rules apply. Any trimming should be researched to help assure the long-term health of the plant.

In general, however, now is the time to remove any broken limbs and make sure that overhanging trees don't touch roofs or walls. Similarly, cut shrubs back from around the home so they don't rub off wall finishes or give pests access to the home, as they become more active in the spring.

Over time, mice and insects can wreak havoc on your home and any appearance can range from troubling to disgusting to scary.

Seal cracks and holes in the foundation and walls, including where pipes enter. Store boxes off floors as any pests eat or live in cardboard and dampening the materials makes it even more appealing.

While most pests are simply a hassle, mosquitoes and some spiders may carry diseases. Avoid letting water stand in any receptacle or depression near the home. Keep basements,

attics and crawl spaces both screened and ventilated. Remove fallen leaves, dried weeds and grass clippings quickly.

For more information, call Diane Labant at 503-238-2870.

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