When it comes to general pest management, the key preventive actions take place within a structure’s foundational apron. The apron refers to the space within three feet upwards and ten feet horizontally from a structure’s base.

This area is important because a majority of pest problems begin when a building’s exterior is conducive to pest activity. Pests are opportunistic creatures, and when they find an environment that meets their needs, they’re quick to set up camp.

Once pests establish themselves, it threatens the structure’s exterior and increases the likelihood they’ll gain access inside. It sounds scary, but there’s nothing to fear: the experts at Janssen Pest Solutions are here to teach you how to safeguard your property’s foundation against unwanted intruders.


Moisture retention and harborage opportunities are two major conditions that attract pests. Moist environments provide pests with the water sources they need to survive, while harborage gives them places to seek shelter and breed. By addressing these circumstances, you can effectively deter pests from taking up residence. Keep reading to find out how!

Moisture Retention

Just like us, pests need water to survive. Excessive moisture provides them with a vital resource—and an open invitation to make themselves at home. Here are some factors that contribute to excess water retention:

Downspouts and splash blocks: While downspouts and splash blocks are essential for directing water away from buildings, they promote water retention if they aren’t properly maintained. When these features become clogged or misaligned, water accumulates around the building’s foundation and attracts pests.

Mulch: Mulch is commonly used in landscaping to intentionally retain soil moisture. But when mulch isn’t properly aerated, it retains excessive moisture, which encourages pest activity.

Landscape Fabric: While landscape fabric helps conserve soil moisture, it needs to be properly ventilated to avoid trapping excess water. Prolonged moisture retention beneath landscape fabric attracts pests that thrive in damp environments.

Gutter Moisture Retention: Clogged gutters lead to water accumulation along building eaves and rooftops. It creates a nutrient-rich environment that’s ideal for pests like mosquitoes to lay their eggs.

Standing Water Collection Areas: Low-lying areas or depressions in the landscape allow rainfall to collect and become stagnant over time. Areas with standing water create breeding grounds for water-loving pests, and increase the risk of infestations.

Hardscapes: Impermeable hardscape surfaces like concrete, asphalt, and paving stones prevent water from being absorbed into the soil. After it rains, water collects in stagnant pools conducive to pest activity.

By addressing these sources of moisture retention, you can help minimize the risk of pest infestations and create a healthier, more pest-resistant environment around your property.


Harborage refers to areas where pests like to hide or take shelter. These spaces offer favorable conditions for survival and reproduction. Common harborage opportunities include:

Cracks and Crevices: Even the smallest openings in walls and foundations create ideal shelters for pests. These spaces are appealing because they provide protection from predators, weather, and human disturbance.

Roofline Overhangs: Roofline overhangs create shaded areas that give pests protection against sun, rain, and other environmental conditions. Overhangs are a very common place for paper wasps, yellow jackets, and other stinging insects to build their nests.

Overlap Siding: Overlap siding creates small, hidden spaces that pests love to hide. Gaps between siding panels or underneath siding edges can provide refuge for termites, ants, beetles, and more.

Exterior Light Fixtures: Exterior light fixtures offer harborage for flying insects like moths, flies, and mosquitoes. These fixtures emit light and warmth, which encourages pests to gather and seek shelter in nearby cracks and crevices.

Foliage: Nearby vegetation and foliage provide tons of harborage opportunities. Dense bushes, trees, and shrubs offer shelter for urban wildlife such as rabbits, possum, raccoons. These animals tend to carry fleas on their fur, which leads to additional problems.

Fleas are hitchhikers that aren’t too picky about where they lay their eggs. As wildlife critters roam the great outdoors, they leave flea eggs in their wake, including among the plants inside your own backyard.

Think about how often your beloved family pet explores these same areas. Your dog, cat, or other pet may pick up the fleas and eggs left behind. Fleas can multiply quickly once they’re on your pet and cause discomfort. They can also transmit diseases and parasites that pose health risks to both animals and humans.

Don’t let pests take shelter around your property. Eliminating harborage sites disrupts pests’ ability to survive and reproduce, making it one of the most effective strategies in pest control. Minimizing hiding places makes it harder for pests to find shelter, breed, and multiply.

Additional Control

Don’t wait until pests become a problem—take action now and protect your structure from infestation. A Green Guard Pest Management Program from Janssen Pest Solutions may be the answer to your residential pest prevention needs.  
Our Green Guard services utilize an integrated pest management (IPM) approach. We employ a combination of techniques that promote long-term pest prevention. Our technicians will thoroughly inspect your home’s foundation for conducive pest conditions. Then, we’ll develop a customized solution to address them.

Our Green Guard services come in a variety of packages and price points, and we’re happy to help you choose the plan that’s right for you. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive pest control solutions!