A change of season brings a change of pests, all looking for a warm place to take refuge and a source of food and water – also known as “your house!” As temps drop outdoors, pests are more likely to seek out a place to stay for the winter. There are things you can do to safeguard your home from unwanted invaders, and keeping them out is half the battle. Routine professional pest control is the other half.
Pests need water, food and shelter to survive. If they can’t find these in your home, they’ll go elsewhere. Here’s how to protect your property:
- Start by sealing all gaps and cracks in screens, doors and windows, especially basements, attics, bathrooms and kitchens. Carefully inspect your home’s interior and exterior and especially look for places bugs can easily enter. Keep in mind that even mice can squeeze through openings as small as a quarter-inch!
- To protect doorways from becoming insect highways, install a steel or aluminum threshold under the door. If you want to take it a step further you can add a door sweep. Place weather-stripping on the perimeter of the frame to keep insects from crawling over the top and caulk the corners where the frame meets the wall.
- It’s important to eliminate excess moisture and fix household leaks immediately. Cockroaches like water – and can swim!
- Look for and replace damaged or wet wood – carpenter ants LOVE damaged wood!
- Keep your home and garage free from clutter. Piles of magazines, newspapers or boxes attract pests and provide a great hiding spot.
- Eliminate food debris, especially in hard-to-reach places, e.g., under large kitchen appliances like the refrigerator and stove.
Yard maintenance can have a big impact on potential bug infestations. Take care of your residence by taking the following actions:
- Clean up piles of leaves and debris. These can serve as perfect places for bugs to hide and also to reproduce, which can lead to an infestation that would be difficult to eliminate.
- Store trash properly. Insects love to feast on trash! Proper trash storage and handling can be critical to what enters your home. Keep all food debris within the kitchen and not in wastebaskets throughout your home. Double-bag any raw foods and/or throw them in a trashcan with a tight lid. Make sure there are no holes in the trash bags and sanitize both interior and exterior trash bins regularly. Place outdoor trash bins as far from your home as possible.
- Keep foundations clear. Your foundation provides the most common entry spots for bugs. For the utmost protection, keep moisture and debris away from your home. This can cause termites, ants, fleas, and spiders to enter your home. Fix and seal any gaps or poor connections. Ask your pest control professional to use chemical insecticides and termicides to treat the foundation of your home.
Some of the insects that are prevalent in the fall and winter are centipedes, silverfish, crickets, spiders, bed bugs and stink bugs, to name a few. To keep bugs at bay this season, and all year long, be sure to seek professional pest control help.