Pest problems are common in the fall when the weather gets cooler. Mice, insects, and other animals come breaking into homes to escape the cold and nest in a safe place. While it may seem like they come out of nowhere, there are many things you can do to prevent this from happening. The key is to keep the house clean and to block out entry points. Read on to see what you can do to stop pests from getting in the house this fall.
1. Tidy up the kitchen
Pest problems often start in the kitchen because that is where food is stored. Empty out your cabinets, pull out your appliances, and do a deep clean. Vacuum up all the dust behind your appliances and mop the floor to remove dust, crumbs, and odors. Wipe down your countertops and the insides of your cabinets. Clean the tops of your cabinets and the garbage can, too. Then, take the time to organize the pantry. Store food in sealed containers so that mice and insects can’t get to them.
2. Dehumidify the basement
Insects like silverfish and centipedes love basements because they are quiet and humid. If you want to avoid these bugs, check the humidity levels in your basement. You want it to be somewhere between 40-50% in the summer and 30-40% in the winter. Get a hygrometer to monitor the humidity or test it with a glass of ice water. Simply fill a glass with water and a few ice cubes, then wait 5 minutes. If there is lots of condensation on the sides of the glass, the room is too humid. Set up a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity.
Bathrooms are also prone to being a little too humid, so you should test these areas as well. Check if your fans are working and be sure to use them whenever you shower or take a bath. Fix dripping or leaky faucets to reduce moisture.
3. Inspect the attic
The attic is a popular nesting site for mice, squirrels, and raccoons. If you can, go have a look inside the attic and look for signs of an infestation. Mice leave small burrow holes in the insulation. From there, they will come raiding in the kitchen and spread their colony throughout the home. If you see anything, call a pest control company for help. While you are up there, you should also check if your vents need cleaning. Make sure that air is flowing in and out of the attic.
4. Seal cracks and crevices
Walk around the house and check for cracks in the foundation, window frames, and door frames. Look for gaps between the soffits and walls, as well. Seal these cracks with silicone caulking to stop insects and other small pests from getting inside the home. You should also consider sealing the gaps underneath your doors with weatherstripping and covering your vents with mesh. Inside, seal any gaps you found between the kitchen cabinets or along the baseboards of the home.
5. Do some yard work
Pests and wildlife are attracted to yards that are overgrown. Tidy up the yard and get rid of any scrap that is lying around. Move firewood and debris away from the sides of the home. If you have fruit trees, pick their fruit before they fall and don’t let any sit on the ground. Pests will eat them. Trim your shrubs, pull weeds, and rake the leaves when they fall.
6. Clean out the gutters
The gutters should be cleaned twice a year, in spring and fall. If you haven’t done it already, check up on your gutters and empty them out so that water can continue to drain properly. Your basement risks flooding or being severely damaged if rainwater cannot drain off the roof. Squirrels will also come nesting in the gutters if they are full of leaves and branches.
7. Repair the roof
Check the edges of your roof carefully for openings. With time, the drip edge may separate from the framing of the house, creating openings for squirrels and other animals to get inside. Gently lift the shingles to check. If you can, examine your roof vents as well. Squirrels often chew their way through roof vents and raccoons break them off. Repair any damages you find or hire a contractor for help. Cover these vents with a steel mesh to keep animals out of the attic.
8. Call an exterminator for help
If you have been struggling with an ant problem, mouse problem, or any pest problem, call an exterminator like Enviro Pest Control. They can take care of the problem for you, quickly and efficiently. If you haven’t had any issues yet, consider calling them anyway. They can inspect your home for entry points and seal them for you. Professionals have access to high-quality meshes and products that keep pests out for good.