Battle bugs before they bite (or sting!) you — and check the attic for problems.
Tackling five simple tasks now gives you a head start on spring.
That leaves you plenty of worry-free time to enjoy the warmer weather.
#1 Tell Insects to Bug Off
Early spring warmth awakens insects, so start to protect your home now. Seal openings in eaves, decks, and other structures to keep out carpenter bees.
Nix mosquitoes by eliminating standing water or treating it with larvicide. Call a pro to destroy wasp and yellow jacket nests, unless you’re experienced enough to engage in a bee battle.
#2 Prep Tools for Lawn Care
Image: Jo Facer, The Edible Flower
Ladies and gentlemen, start your mowers. April’s the month to get this vital piece of equipment ready to roll. An unmaintained machine can cost money, slow you down, and leave your lawn vulnerable to disease. So, before you pull the starter rope:
- Replace spark plugs and the air filter.
- Change the oil and sharpen blades.
- Fill the tank with fresh gasoline.
While you’ve got your gloves on, clean, sharpen, and repair your garden tools. When your azaleas are ready to prune, you’re not going to want to keep them waiting.
#3 Tune Up the Air Conditioner
Image: Michele Rosenthal/Offset
With flip-flop weather comes another summer tradition: cranking up the air conditioning. Tune your AC in April, before the mercury and service rates rise.
Ask your HVAC company if they have a twice-a-year maintenance plan. Often, you can get discounted rates if you join, and you don’t have to worry about finding someone to do it each spring and fall.
Now you only have to worry about which pair of Havaianas to wear.
#4 Check the Attic (and Garage)
How long has it been since you looked in the attic? Yeah, us too.
April’s the time to inspect this oft-ignored space — before it gets too hot. Look for signs of animal activity (raccoons love attics), and repair or replace damaged insulation or wiring.
Ensure stored items are still secure; tighten container lids and dust covers and replace moth repellants.
While we’re talking storage, how’s the garage? If soccer balls, bikes, and luggage have taken prime parking space, regain control with a storage system. Your car (and your partner) will thank you.
#5 Clean Up Bird Feeders
Image: Suck UK
Besides spreading diseases to birds, dirty bird feeders attract rodents and hurt curb appeal. Gross.
Give your bird feeders a deep clean — not just a rinse-out.
Empty them, take them apart, and wash with a solution of one part bleach to nine parts hot water. Rinse well to remove all traces of bleach, air dry, and refill with seed.
Clean under feeders, too, because moldy or spoiled seed on the ground can make pets sick. Don’t forget the bird bath.
A pretty yard that’s a healthy haven for birds makes a good impression — one that says “this is a well-cared-for home.”
Kelley Waltersis a Southern writer and editor. She focuses on interior design and home improvement at outlets from HGTV to Paintzen. She lives in Italy a month every year, drinking Negronis and writing in internet cafes.