As the weather gets colder, we’re all likely to be spending a lot more time indoors. Unfortunately, we’re not the only ones. The change in the seasons also sends critters scurrying to find a warm, safe place to spend the coming months. These fall pest control tips will help you ensure that your house is not that place.
Common Fall Pests
Fall is the season that causes homeowners some of the biggest headaches of the year when it comes to pest problems, and the list of pests that can make their way into your home at this time of year is a long one.
Insects like stink bugs, boxelder bugs and ladybugs often invade homes in droves looking for warmth. These insects, while they may be a nuisance, are essentially harmless. Others, like cockroaches, can contaminate food and spread diseases. Even bees and wasps can become a serious problem in fall, as the increasingly cold weather often causes them to guard their nests even more aggressively.
Mammals find their way into homes in fall as well—mice, rats, squirrels, bats and even raccoons can make themselves at home in your attic, basement or garage. Many small mammals can enter your home through the tiniest crack; and once they’re inside, they reproduce rapidly, making them very difficult to get rid of. That’s why the biggest key to fall pest control is prevention.
Preventative Fall Pest Control
It’s much easier to keep household pests from ever getting into your home than it is to get rid of them once they’ve set up shop. While the weather is still relatively warm, here’s how you can keep fall pests outside where they belong:
- Check the outside of your home for access points that could let pests in—especially areas where utility pipes enter. Seal any cracks you find with caulk or foam sealant.
- Install door sweeps to keep pests from entering under your door.
- Check windows for damaged screens, replacing them as needed. Seal gaps around windows with caulk or weather stripping.
- Install screens in attic vents, openings to chimneys, pet doors, mail slots, and any other areas where your home may be open to the outdoors.
- Inspect the basement foundation and repair loose mortar if necessary.
- Use a dehumidifier to keep basements, attics and crawl spaces dry and well-ventilated.
- Keep branches and shrubbery trimmed back so that it doesn’t brush up against the house; landscape plants often provide a haven for potential insect pests.
- Keep firewood in an area at least 20 feet away from your house.
Following these fall pest control tips now will make it much less likely that you’ll have to deal with pest problems later in the year. That said, there’s always a chance that a mouse or other creature could still sneak in. If you find yourself dealing with an infestation, be sure to read up on the EPA Guidelines for the safe use of pesticides before taking action, or contact a professional pest control company for assistance.
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