When the temperatures begin to dip, humans aren’t the only ones who appreciate the warmth and shelter of a cozy home. Insects, rodents, and other small mammals are also drawn to the comforts your house provides. Ever have a mouse die in a wall? It’s not the sort of smell that one appreciates during the holidays. No one wants an expensive electrical repair when a rat chews its way through wiring in the attic or basement, either. Do yourself a favor and protect yourself from pests this Fall and Winter. Here are some tips:
1. Inspect the outside of your home for ways animals may sneak in. Often utility vents and areas under eaves have gaps which should be sealed or screened.
2. Look for gaps around door and window frames, and caulk or repair those gaps. Tiny entry ways can lead to big problems.
3. Examine trees around your home. Are any branches close to or touching the roof? These branches can be pathways for rodents to access your roof and any access ways the roof may provide to your attic, walls, or crawlspaces.
4. Make sure your garbage and recycling bins have tight fitting or locking lids. Hungry animals will find those scraps, trimmings, and drips, and they can more or less provide an invitation to come close to the house. It’s not a bad idea to buy containers with latches or locks that won’t interfere with garbage pickup, but will deter most animals. (Raccoons are particularly clever, though!)
5. If you have a wood pile for a fireplace or other stove, keep it at a distance from your home. If you’ve been keeping it close to the house because of the cover a roof provides, consider relocating the wood and using a tarp to keep it dry.
6. Inside your home, try not to store food on countertops as it will attract flies and rodents. Airtight containers inside of cabinets an drawers is a better bet.
7. Never leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight if you can help it. Just like food on the counter, it’s an invitation for bugs.
8. Wash your floors with a water and a cleaner. Food residue from spills will attract ants.
With a little prevention, you can keep your home pest free this season. Even with the best protection, pest control can become a necessity, though. If you need a referral for a trusted pest control company, feel free to get in touch with me.