Even though here in the Midwest it feels like we can go through all four seasons in just one day, it’s undeniable that the air is cooling, leaves are beginning to fall, and--unfortunately--pests are looking to find homes for the winter. Fortunately, there are several things you can do in and around your home this autumn to cut down on pest activity and make your home less appealing to insects and mice. Read on for some helpful tips from Spidexx to prevent household pests this fall.
Ensure Firewood Is Stored Properly
There’s nothing like getting together with family and friends around a warm fire as the nights get chillier. And to keep that fire hot, it requires a substantial amount of wood. Homeowners can inadvertently create places for pests like spiders and mice to make their homes by stacking wood directly against the house or garage. It is recommended that firewood be placed more than five feet away from the home, and not touching the grass (by storing it on a pallet for example) as well as being away from trees. Taking these added steps will help reduce the amount of unwanted mice, spiders, and other pests and allow you to relax and enjoy your fire.
Keep Lawn Tidy
A well-trimmed lawn isn’t just for aesthetic purposes! As grass grows taller, it invites insects to make their homes among it. If you’ve ever taken a walk through a field and then had to brush ticks off yourself, you’ll understand why it’s important to keep the grass in your yard cut short. This also applies to shrubs and foliage in general, particularly if they are in close proximity to your home. If a bush, for example, sits right against your front window, then insects can simply climb along that bush and try to get in at window level instead of being stuck entering from the ground. Trimming everything away from the house by 6-12” is recommended to reduce the possibility of this occurring. And, your lawn will look lovely as an added bonus!
Inspect Screens, Foundation, Gutters, Siding, and Doors
In addition to keeping pests out, keeping the outside of your home protected also helps against rain and cold temperatures while keeping the home beautiful and fully-functioning. Start at the bottom and work your way up. Do you see gaps or cracks in your foundation or lower siding? Remember that mice can get in areas as small as the width of a number two pencil, so when in doubt seal it up! An expanding foam product works great for this, and if it bubbles up you can trim it down flush against your home.
Take a look at your gutters. First, are they all still there? Next, how far out do they drain? The further the better to eliminate standing water which can attract pests. Consider extending the length your gutters drain away from your home, particularly if you are having any issues with pests or continuously soggy areas of your lawn (which are unsightly, potentially unsafe, and breeding grounds for more pests).
Siding and doors are another opportunity for a better insulated and further pest-proofed home. Can you see any spots around the sides of the door where light gets in? If so, odds are bugs can get in too, not to mention outside air that can lead to higher energy bills. Speaking of doors, check out your weather-stripping, including on the garage door if you have one. Wear and tear or chewing can quickly reduce the protection this provides, but fortunately replacing weather-stripping is fairly easy.
What about your siding? It may look good at eye level, but pay special attention to the bottom near the foundation and look up into your eaves. Any cracks or gaps you may see can become new places for pests to call home, so seal those up or contact a handyman as needed. Different types of siding require different types of maintenance--wood siding, for example, might need to be protected with a sealant whereas vinyl siding is not porous. You can look it up or contact a local company for tips to keep your siding in tip-top shape.
Inspect Basement, Garage, Attic, and Crawlspace
Areas we use less frequently can easily be overlooked when keeping a pest-free home in mind. But out of sight does not mean nonexistent--in fact, these less frequently disturbed areas can be prime real estate for pests! Garages, particularly if the door or weatherstripping leaves a gap at the bottom, are a common spot to find mice. Make your garage less hospitable to them by sealing the entrances, as after they get in it is possible they can chew through boxes and even electrical wires in your car!
For those of us with basements, these may be areas of leisure, storage, or both. But regardless of how they are used, as basements are at ground level, they are often the first place homeowners see pests as they get in. Sealing cracks around your foundation outside will help, but check that your windows are properly fitted and if you continuously get moisture pests like silverfish, consider installing a dehumidifier to tackle the problem from the source. If you have a crawlspace, try to keep it clean and sealed up as best you can. If there is an opening from the outside, try to cover it up so you don’t have to deal with anything trying to make its home down there.
Attics are something people usually only think about when they need to store or retrieve something, but they can serve as harborages for pests year-round. Mice that make it in at the ground level may nest in an attic, making nests from insulation. Inspect your attic to ensure there are no points where pests can get in or out. If you have a chimney, make sure there is a mesh guard so no animals make a surprise entrance!
Utilize Year-Round Pest Control With Spidexx
These are all excellent tips homeowners should follow in order to reduce pest activity, but especially for those with ongoing pest problems, it can feel like an uphill battle. You can further protect your home with the Spidexx Ultimate Protection Guarantee which ensures quarterly barrier treatments as well as free re-treats whenever needed. Anytime you find yourself with pests, give us a call and we’ll return between your scheduled visits for no charge. At Spidexx, we don’t just provide pest control--we provide peace of mind. For more information or to get started, click here for a free quote or call a friendly customer service specialist Monday-Friday from 9-5 at (844) 922-7732.