Its Fall Ya’ll! Tips on how to pest proof your home this fall!
As cooler temperatures bring cozy nights in front of the fire, warm blankets and decreases in outdoor activities. Humans are not the only ones that seek shelter from the cold. Insect and rodent pests often utilize homes and structures during cooler months as a source of shelter, food and water. Pests in the home can pose serious health and structural risks. Many health conditions and diseases are spread by pests including mice, roaches, and even ants. Rodents such as rats and mice are notorious for chewing electrical wiring which contributes to a high percentage of fires each year.
Pest-proofing can ensure that you and your family are the only ones enjoying the warmth of your home this winter season. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the home on a raised platform approximately 5 inches off the ground.
- Keep shrubbery trimmed, especially around the foundation. This reduces sheltered areas where pests may hide or enter the structure.
- Move stored items away from the foundation. Storage containers, covered patio furniture, etc. may collect moisture and provide shelter for pests.
- Screen attic and foundation vents. Cap chimneys, roof vents and exhaust pipes with appropriate covers. Remember to check your dryer vent. This is a common entry point into walls for rats and mice. The heat coming from the vent may encourage pests to enter the home.
- Seal cracks, gaps and crevices around the exterior perimeter of the home. Do not forget to check the inside of the garage if walls are not finished to ensure that there are no potential entry points. Be sure to check plumbing and utility penetrations both inside and outside the home.
- Make sure that basements, attics and crawlspaces are well ventilated and dry. Use of dehumidifiers in areas prone to moisture can deter pests seeking these conducive conditions.
- Weather proofing such as replacement of weather stripping on doors and windows will keep the cold and pests out of your home.
- Inspect and repair all window screens to ensure that there are no holes or tears.
- Inspect items that have been in storage prior to bringing them into the home for the holidays. Keeping these items in well-sealed containers will minimize pest damage.
- Check exterior drainage systems for proper function and install new drainage in areas where water collects.
- Keep pet food properly stored, especially at night when many pests are active. Food should be stored in airtight containers to minimize rodent and ant activity.
- Kitchen counters should be cleaned/wiped down and all dishes removed from the sink prior to nighttime to decrease their attractiveness to pests. Spills should be cleaned up immediately.
- Inspect your home both inside and outside for indications that pest activity may be present.
If you encounter signs of pest activity, contact a pest control professional to assist in resolving the infestation.