Fall is the time for snuggling on the couch with a mug of hot chocolate. While you’re enjoying a cozy evening at home with your significant other or your family, the last thing you want to see is a silverfish or a roach crawling across the throw pillow.
When the temperatures start cooling down outside, pests start looking for more hospitable environs indoors. Unfortunately, your home can provide the perfect place for them to spend the winter. It features everything they need: warmth, a food source, and water. In this article, we’ll share seven ways to protect your home from pests during the cooler months.
1. Seal Pests Out
When shelter, food, and water become difficult to find, pests view your home as the ideal place to take up residence. The first step in your plan of action will be to seal out the creepy crawlies so they can’t get into your home to begin with. You’ll want to take the following actions:
- Weatherproof your windows and doors to seal off cracks where pests could enter. Be sure to check screens for tears at this time as well.
- Seal any cracks or openings in your home, such as under baseboards, around your dryer vent, or around plumbing. Spray foams with pesticides within can be helpful to eliminate any creepy crawlies (or mice) that managed to make their way inside.
- Caulk around bathroom and kitchen fixtures if this hasn’t already been done.
2. Put Screens on Vents, and Install a Chimney Cap
While you want to seal your windows, doors, and cracks, you don’t want to prevent fresh air from circulating in your home. Attic vents and air vents in the kitchen, for example, are there for a reason. But at the same time, you don’t have to make these spaces open invitations for pests. You can place screens over vents to prevent bugs from entering.
If you have a chimney, consider installing a chimney cap that can keep not only bugs, but also birds and bats, out of your home.
3. Keep Wood and Recyclables Stored Elsewhere
If you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove, you probably stack firewood for use over the winter. While it’s nice to have this wood in a convenient location, it can also provide food and shelter for pests. Stack your wood 10-20 feet away from your home to keep pests at bay. You’ll be thankful you did, even if it requires a bit of a walk to access it.
Recycling containers fall into the same category. Pests love the dark hiding places that cluttered recyclables provide. You’ll want to wash your recyclables and store them inside where pests can’t access them, or keep them several feet away from your home.
4. Look Out for Standing Water
Pests need moisture to survive, and they will seek it out. Outdoors, leaking air conditioning units may attract pests to the foundation of your home. Indoors, plumbing leaks can provide the perfect out-of-sight location for pests to thrive. Be sure to check your home for any leaks or standing water. Even faucets and shower heads that are dripping slightly can provide a constant source of water for bugs.
5. Tidy Up Flowerbeds
Fall is the time to cut back the dead summer flowers and annuals that have had their day. Decaying plant material makes a nice home for pests, and you don’t want to provide a home for mice and bugs near your foundation. While fall isn’t the best time to prune, you will want to cut back bushes and tree branches that brush up against your house.
6. Clean Your Gutters
On the same note, blocked gutters can attract pests. Not only does the leaf material provide a nice location for pests to gather, water can also back up and drip down around your foundation, attracting pests below as well as above. And pests aren’t the only problem in this case. When a gutter overflows, it can cause mold in basements, and can damage siding. You’ll want to stay focused on keeping gutters clean throughout the season.
7. Seal Your Garbage
It’s easy to forget that pests can easily access your trash can, whether it’s stored outside your home or in your garage. “Out of sight, out of mind.” But even if your can has a lid, unless that lid forms a seal, bugs can get in, feast, breed, and move on. If you store your can outside, place it away from your house if possible. If you store it in your garage, you’ll want to make sure that all your trash bags are tied securely and don’t have holes in them.
Fall is the ideal time to prepare your home for winter, when pests will be scouting for better places to live. Before the temperatures get too cold, you can accomplish these tasks and be ready for a cozy season!
If you’re concerned about pests in your home this fall, let’s chat. Give us a call at (864) 292-1919, and we’ll let you know what we can do to help.