(BPT) - People are welcoming warm weather with open arms after the mountains of snow and freezing temperatures experienced across much of the country this past winter, but along with the sunshine comes the other less desirable signs of the season. Mosquito eggs start to hatch, termite swarms look for new homes, and stinging insects begin buzzing.


The National Pest Management Association reminds homeowners to pest-proof their homes this season and to learn more about the most common pests in their area and what attracts them. Whether it's ants, mosquitoes, ticks or wasps, the NPMA suggests these tips for preventing a wide variety of pests from sneaking indoors.


* Trim trees and bushes around the home. Low hanging branches and overgrown bushes can act as bridges for ants, termites, rodents and even nuisance wildlife. When plants start to grow in the spring, be sure to trim back areas where they might touch the home's exterior or the roof.


* Repair small cracks and damage in the siding and roof. Pest proofing is one situation when you should sweat the small stuff. Rodents can fit through a hole the size of a dime, and they are one of the biggest household pests. Also, damage from snow and ice may only be seen weeks after a storm when the last snow pile melts.


* Keep garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly. Nuisance wildlife and stinging insects are attracted to garbage if it is not properly sealed. All trash should be in bags or sealed bins and taken regularly to the curb or dumpster for disposal.


* Partner with a pest professional. Whether you have experienced a pest infestation in the past or not, consider working with a professional to establish a maintenance plan to prevent pests or help find and seal possible entry points. If you suspect you have an infestation, a professional can inspect your home, properly identify the problem and recommend the best course of action.


Visit pestworld.org to find a licensed pest professional in your area.