Pest Control Guide for the Fall
Seal Up Cracks and Openings
Pests can enter your home or business through the tiniest of openings. Most homes have a variety of portals that pests routinely access, such as air vents that open up to your attic and crawlspace. These are typically screened, but throughout the year, those screens can become damaged, which drastically reduces their effectiveness. Fall is a good time to check these screens and repair any holes. Weather stripping can help you seal up cracks around windows and doors. Door sweeps are also great for keeping out both pests and cold air drafts that begin to blow during the fall season.
Clean Up Any Possible Food Sources
Pests can make a meal of even the smallest bits of food. Wiping down your kitchen countertops, stove, microwave, and other surfaces can go a long way to preventing pests from being attracted to your living spaces, especially during the fall as food sources become scarce outdoors as winter approaches. Another surprising food source that attracts pests is pet food. Getting dog and cat food bowls up off of the floor using bowl holders, and feeding pets at set meal times rather than allowing them to free-feed or graze throughout the day on an open bowl of kibble, can help limit the number of pests who may seek out pet food. Cleaning up pet food crumbs daily is another good way to prevent pests.
Maintain Drainage Systems
Does your home have gutters? If so, fall is an excellent time of year to check them out to ensure they’re functioning properly, especially since fall leaves have a nasty habit of clogging gutters. If your home does not have gutters, this may be a good time to install them. Proper drainage can go a long way toward eliminating the conditions in which pests can thrive and multiply. Another good way to prevent moisture from building up around your crawlspace is to lay down a couple inches of dry gravel around the perimeter of your home’s foundation.
Check Any New Items Before Bringing Them Inside
Packages that have been delivered to your driveway can become a vehicle for pests to enter your home, especially if they are delivered in the morning and sit all day until you get home from work and carry them inside. Boxes of seasonal decorations stored in a shed or in your garage are another likely culprit for bringing pests indoors. Be sure to shake and thoroughly dust off any boxes or tubs before you bring them into your house. Cardboard boxes can be especially attractive to certain insects such as cockroaches who not only hang out and lay eggs inside them but also consume the cardboard.
Keep Firewood Away from the House
As temperatures turn chilly during the fall, most of us who have a fireplace tend to stock up on firewood. We might even have some left over from last year. Stacks of firewood are an excellent environment for pests, especially older wood that may have begun to rot and break down. To discourage any nesting pests from entering your home or even your garage, be sure to keep firewood in a separate area, several feet from any house, garage, or shed structures. Covering it with a tarp can help it from retaining moisture, which will keep your firewood dry and ready to use as well as prevent it from becoming more inviting to pests.
Tidy Up Landscaping Elements
Once the heat of summer has died down, fall is an excellent time to trim any shrubs or hedges that may be near your home. Keeping landscaping elements tidy and maintained can help prevent these natural habitats from becoming full of pests. Taking steps to make your yard less attractive to insect and rodent populations will help you reduce the likelihood that these pests will then enter your home or business.
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