Whether you’re cleaning your elderly parents’ property or investigating a recently purchased home, few things will make you as uncomfortable as a forgotten shed that’s filled with lots of pests. When a shed is not used frequently, especially in sheds that are strictly used for storage, a variety of insects will inhabit it as a safe home. Since they are protected from precipitation, wind, and cold weather, they will continue to increase in number as time goes on.
Cleaning: Eliminating Hiding Spots and Nesting Areas
The first thing that needs to be done is a thorough deep cleaning. All participating individuals should be wearing gloves, masks, tucked long-sleeved shirts, pants tucked into tube socks, and preferably boots. Any hair should be pulled back and secured. In this odd outfit, potentially problematic insects (such as the Brown Recluse) will have a harder time climbing into clothing and biting. Remove all clutter from the shed, and clean any items that will be returned to it to remove webs, nests, live insects, eggs, or larvae. Clean and dust all surfaces, getting rid of any existing webs, food sources, and loose debris. This will make the shed less hospitable and help to wipe out the existing population.
Using Pesticides and Traps
Once the shed is empty, grab applicable pesticides and pest control sprayer equipment in order to spray the building for any remaining pests. Be sure to place traps for spiders or mice, and bait stations for ants. You will need to repeat this process more often than normal in the beginning, until pest populations are under control.
Regular Cleaning and Maintenance
Every 3 to 6 months, be sure to clean the building again. A great schedule would be to clean approximately 1 week after the first hard frost of the year to get rid of overwintering insects and their eggs, once two weeks after the last spring frost, and at least once more during the summer. Check bait stations and traps at least once a month, and reapply or replace as necessary.
If a shed is cleaned routinely, pests can be kept at a minimum. Spiders tend to be one of the most common shed pests, with mice being quite problematic during colder months.