Fall is here! According to a recent Good Reads poll, fall is America’s favorite season. That is not surprising. There are many reasons to love fall including the crisp weather, football and pumpkin spice everything. But even though fall has a lot going for it, there are some real problems with the season. One of the biggest problems is that fall is the season that pests move into homes in order to get ready for cold winters. Luckily, with a few tips, and a little bit of work, when you hear the word fall you will think of fun not pests.
The three words that will help you to keep your fall pest free are: inspect, fill and monitor.
- Inspect: When the weather is still relatively warm it is a good time to inspect the perimeter of your house for places mice, squirrels, bugs and other pests can enter. Inspection sounds easy, but it can be a daunting task. Remember, a mouse can fit in a hole that is a quarter of an inch in diameter. That means, if you can fit a #2 pencil through a hole, then a mouse can use that hole to get inside your home. There are a few places that you should take the most time inspecting; they are near window and doorframes, where utilities enter your home and your foundation. Although you could have entry points in a variety of areas of your home these three places are the most common. The most important windows to check are the basement windows and the windows on the first floor of your home. Be sure to check the frame around all exterior doors. Lastly, check your foundation. Freezing and melting cycles as well as excess moisture can lead to cracks in your foundation large enough for mice and other pests to enter.
- Fill: Once you have found possible entry points you need to fill them. Be sure cracks and holes are sealed with silicone or silicone-latex caulk. If the holes are around utilities fill them with steel wool. Installing door sweeps on your exterior doors will also help prevent mice and bugs from entering.
- Monitor: How do you know that you have secured the holes in your house properly? The best way is to monitor your home. Signs of a pest problem may not be obvious until the number of pests get out of hand. To really make sure that pests are not entering your home a monitoring devise is key. Luckily, monitoring systems are relatively inexpensive and will save you a great deal of money in the long run if you are able to catch the unwanted guests before they multiply. To monitor your home, strategically place traps and glue boards or glue trays around your home in areas where you are most likely to find pests (near food, windows, doors and exterior walls as well as in the basement and attic). These devices can alert you to insects and rodents before they become an issue. Noticing an infestation early always makes control easier.