Fall is here, and as the seasons change from baseball to football and fresh-cut grass to pipes of leaves, your pest prevention needs are likely to change as well. While some pests are strictly seasonal, others merely change their habits to get inside your home and find shelter during the fall. This obviously applies to rodents, who may take up residence in your attic and start building a nest there once the temperature drops, but it also holds true for spiders; spider mating season is the summer, but they only really begin to become active in autumn. Fortunately, you can significantly reduce the amount of creepy critters crawling to your home by doing a few simple things around your household. Keep reading for our top ten tips for fall pest prevention, and remember that our experts at Frame’s Pest Control are here for all your pest control and treatment needs.
What to Do to Prevent Pests from Getting Into Your Home This Fall:
- Inspect the Space Below Your Siding: The underside of your house’s siding can be a top entry point for mats, rice, and other pests if not properly maintained. Inspect this area using a mirror, and if you find a gap, mark it so you can come back and seal it later.
- Seal Doors & Windows: Speaking of sealing, you’ll want to make sure your windows and basement sashes are properly cleaned and then sealed with weatherstripping before it gets too cold out. Not only will this help prevent pests from getting in, it will also lock in temperatures, thereby increasing your overall comfort and keeping your energy bills stable.
- Check Your Dryer Vent: Your dryer vent is what prevents carbon monoxide from harming your household when your dryer is in use. You can find this component on the outside of your home, usually towards the base of your property, though sometimes they are located on the roof. If you can access your dryer vent in a safe way, you should always check it to see if the damper is open and the seal is tight when the seasons change. In addition to ensuring proper equipment operation, this will also help keep pests out that may crawl through the vent to get into your house. If you see that the damper is stuck or broken off, you may need to replace your dryer vent completely.
- Examine Gaps in Between Trim & Siding: Pests will work to get into your house through any opening, even your house’s trim and siding. This fall, take a minute to walk around your home, examining the trim and siding to see if it is secure. If you find areas where there are gaps, fill them using a caulk gun, cleaning up any residue as you go.
- Clean Soffit Gaps: Soffit is the underside part of your home’s arches, balconies, or eaves (basically anything that overhangs.) If soffit is not properly sealed, animals may start to make their nests on your roof. This is why you should clean soffit gaps and seal them with expanding foam when the seasons change. This will protect both the integrity of your roof and reduce the chance of animals nesting on your property.
- Insert Copper Mesh in Openings Around Your Property: One great way to keep insects out of your home is to use copper mesh. This tough material is easy to use, and basically impossible for mice and rats to chew through. You can easily insert it in gaps around your home, pushing it in with a screwdriver, and then sealing those gaps with foam when necessary.
- Reduce Moisture Levels: Everything from termites to mosquitoes are drawn to moisture, so it’s always a good idea to keep moisture levels stable on your property wherever possible. Rake away moisture-rich soil from your frames and windows, trim branches that are prone to getting wet, and replace your mulch periodically are all ways you can help reduce excess moisture on your property this fall. To get rid of spiders specifically, you should also consider putting a dehumidifier in your basement (a top location for spiders to make their webs,) leaving it at a 40% humidity level. This will help control the temperature in your home and reduce the chance that spiders will be drawn into the dank, dark corners of your basement.
- Cut Down on Clutter: Less clutter tends to be a good thing in general, but it is particularly applicable when talking about pest prevention. The fewer items you have lying on your floor, the less chance there is of moisture collecting underneath (mounting items also makes it easier to spot rat and mice droppings.) Furthermore, cramped areas such as the cabinet under your sink should be cleaned out and stored efficiently in the fall. This is a prime area for rodents to travel through, and you want to give them as least cover as possible, thus allowing you to spot an infestation sooner rather than later.
- Hide Excess Food: Pests love food. Ants, roaches, and more are attracted to mess, which is why you should never leave any food items just lying out in your kitchen or the rest of your home. You should always store leftovers in sealed, plastic containers to preserve freshness and reduce pest presence. When it comes to large food stores, such as dog food, consider putting them in a metal trash can. Mice cannot climb the walls of slick metal, meaning even huge items will be well-protected.
- Put Down Traps: We know it’s an obvious and also unpleasant solution, but if you’re really worried about rodents invading your home, the best course of action continues to be using traps. Snap-traps should be placed along walls, in a row, so mice have no way of escaping them. Glue traps tend to be less effective, though they are a good option for harder to reach places, like behind the fridge. Also, do not make the mistake of using cheese in your traps. Experts will tell you that peanut butter tends to be the most effective option, with chocolate syrup coming in a close second.