Spring Clean Up Tips

Tuesday, 14 May 2024 09:33
Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
May 13, 2024

Spring has sprung! This time of year is often the time for doing some clean up around your yard, at the cottage or any property you own. The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit want to remind you that this activity can expose some hazards that may not be safe. Take precautions to help reduce your risk of infection.

Mosquitos and Ticks https://healthunit.org/health-information/home-health-safety/insect-bites-diseases/. 

Cleaning up around the yard, including trimming brush, will also help reduce tick and mosquito breeding grounds. These pests live close to their breeding sites and can carry disease.

·         Wear protective equipment that will protect you from insect bites and rashes from annoying weeds.

·         Remove dead brush and cut down long grass.

·         Empty and remove containers that hold stagnant water such as old tires, swimming pool covers, clogged gutters, unused toys or vehicles – mosquitos can breed in this water

·         Creating a natural physical separation between your yard and wooded areas using a border of wood chips or gravel.

·         Cleaning up areas under and around bird feeders to reduce the attraction of small critters such as mice that help transport ticks and are necessary hosts for ticks to complete their life cycle.

·         Do a tick check when you return inside. If possible, have someone check you from behind. Check your pets for ticks as well. Promptly remove ticks and nymphs using tweezers or a tick twister. 


Droppings: https://healthunit.org/health-information/home-health-safety/household-pests-rodents/. 

When it comes to cleaning up inside the cottage, garage or shed, be prepared. You may find small accumulations of mouse, bird, raccoon, or bat droppings. These droppings may have harmful micro-organisms that are released into the air in the dust as you clean up. To reduce harm from droppings, follow these tip prior to cleaning up a garage, shed or cottage:    

  • Open windows and doors for ventilation for about 30 minutes before your begin cleaning.
  • Wear disposable gloves and a face mask to protect from breathing in dust and droppings.
  • Wet down areas where droppings have been left with a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water.
  • Shovel the wet droppings into a garbage bag along with any cleaning cloths and then seal the bag well for disposal.
  • Wash your hands well after you have finished.
  • Assistance from a professional may be needed for heavy accumulations of droppings or where there is a significant infestation by rodents or other animals.

Wild parsnip https://healthunit.org/health-information/home-health-safety/dangerous-weeds/. 

Wild Parsnip, Poison Ivy, and Giant Hogweed are three common noxious weeds in our area. Coming into contact with these dangerous weeds can cause severe skin reactions. To prevent the growth of these dangerous weeds:

  • Mow the grass and trim the ditches regularly. Mowing the ditch helps control the growth of wild parsnip. Keeping the plant mowed will prevent the plant from flowering and spreading its seeds.

Well Water https://healthunit.org/health-information/drinking-water/.

Spring is a great time to have your well water tested for bacteria. Run off from heavy rain may affect the safety of your drinking water. Bacteria in your well water may not affect the taste or smell. Testing your well water is the only way to know for sure if your drinking water is safe.

  • The Health Unit recommends that you test your well water at least three times a year for bacteria. If the testing shows the well water is contaminated with bacteria, some actions may be required to protect your health.
  • Check the Health Unit website for instructions on how to disinfect your well and information on different types of treatment units that can be installed.
  • In addition to bacteria, some chemical elements that can affect health may also be found in your well water. The most common chemical elements that can affect your health and may be found in Canadian well water are: Nitrate and nitrite, sodium, naturally occurring Manganese, Arsenic, Uranium and Lead.

A thorough spring clean-up can help you enjoy outdoor activities all season long by removing conditions that are favourable for unwanted pests that may cause discomfort and disease.

For more information check our https://healthunit.org/health-information/home-health-safety/. or call 1-800-660-5853 or 613-345-5685. You can also connect with us on https://www.facebook.com/LGLHealthUnit/.  and https://twitter.com/LGLHealthUnit.  @LGLHealthUnit for important public health updates.


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