How to Keep Pests Out Your Home
As the weather starts to cool off, we Carolinians like to cozy up in our warm homes. Unfortunately, so do unwanted pests!
Luckily for you, we have some quick and easy steps to help you pest-proof your home this fall.
1. Seal openings
Openings that allow for wiring or pipes to come into the siding or foundation of your home are major entry points for pests. Openings as small as a fourth of an inch are big enough for pests like mice to enter your home and even smaller for insects like spiders and cockroaches.
In addition, things like gas meters, dryer vents and any outdoor facet are all potential welcoming mats for unwanted pests. Check these spots regularly and be sure to seal any openings with caulk, expandable foam, copper mesh or even cement.
2. Check for cracks and gaps around windows and doors
Pests can enter through the tiniest of spaces. Use caulk or weather stripping to seal cracks around your doors and windows. If you already have these areas sealed but notice that they’re starting to wear down, remove all the old seal, wipe it clean and then apply the new sealant.
Applying caulk or weather-stripping to a clean window or door frame will ensure that it adheres correctly–preventing you from having to reseal as often! For bigger entry-ways like garage doors, use a rubber seal at the bottom to keep the space between the door and the ground completely closed.
3. Don’t forget the screens!
Don’t be fooled. Pests can easily chew their way through screens on doors and windows. And the bigger the hole, the bigger the pest. This is an easy one to overlook in the colder months but is definitely still important! Be sure to check for any wear and tear (literally) on your screens every so often.
Any holes or rips should either be mended or replaced. Additionally, keeping windows and doors closed in general will help keep bugs out and keep the heat indoors.
4. Survey conditions around the home
To keep bugs away from your home in the first place, it’s smart to take some preventative measures. Bugs are attracted to light. So instead of using traditional light bulbs at your front door, replace them with sodium vapor light bulbs instead–insects are much less attracted to these.
If you have any trees or shrubs close to your home, be sure to keep them trimmed. Bugs like to use nearby foliage for jumping into (or on the side of) your home.
Also, firewood, believe it or not, is the perfect mode of transportation for bugs into the home. Once insects burrow into the wood on the outside of the home, they get a free ride to the inside when you take the wood in to burn.
5. Keep it dry
There’s nothing pests love more than moisture. Attics, crawl spaces, basements and garages are all places in the home that seem to have the most moisture. Bugs gravitate towards these spots in our home and because these spots don’t always see a lot of traffic, bugs make their homes there.
Making sure these spaces are properly ventilated can do wonders for keeping pests away. If necessary, use a humidifier in your garage or attic to keep them dry.
6. Proper outdoor drainage
Don’t forget about your gutters! This goes hand in hand with keeping your home dry. To keep moisture out of your home in the first place, every home should have a proper drainage system.
Install gutters on your home or repair them if they’re damaged. This will keep the rain water off of your roof, out of your attic and ultimately out of your home!
7. Cleanliness is key
So we know that pests love moisture. But what else do they love? Food. Food in the garbage, food on the floor, food on the counter–food anywhere! Not only can they get into food lying out in the open, but pests can also eat through boxes to get into your food. To prevent pests from finding your food in the first place, be sure to keep your home clean.
More specifically, your kitchen. Even the faintest residue of food can attract pests, so make sure to wipe down your counters and tables regularly and keep food sealed and put away. Also, making sure that garbage cans are properly stored can also help keep pests away. Cleanliness is everything!
As you can see, pests can find their way into a home in lots of sneaky ways. See our blog on the most common pest entry points to learn more. By taking a little extra time to prepare your home, you could have yourself a wonderful pest-free season!
For more information on pest control and prevention, download our free guide on how to get rid of pests the Killingsworth Way!
Here at Killingsworth we know that no matter how prepared you might be, sometimes there’s just no good way to get rid of pests on your own. If you think you might have a pest problem, or just want to be proactive, schedule a service with us today!