There is no denying it now, summer is over. Fall, with its cool, but not yet freezing cold weather is the perfect time to make sure that your house will not become the winter wonderland for a variety of insects and pests including mice. Get your home ready for winter with our checklist for a pest-free home:
- Remove debris from the foundation of your property. Leaves, grass clippings, and other debris is an excellent place for a variety of pests, from spiders to mice, to hide. Keeping debris away from your home helps keep pests away from your home.
- Check outside water sources for leaks. Pests are naturally drawn to sources of water. If the outside faucet that you attach your hose to for watering your plants is leaking it will attract pests. The best option is to turn off all outside water during the cold months, but if that is not possible, make sure to inspect it carefully and repair any damage you see.
- Examine the foundation of your home for cracks and holes. Once the debris is away from the foundation of your home it will be easier for you to see if there are any cracks or holes. Pests use these holes in your foundation as an easy access tunnel into your home. You should be on the lookout for even small holes; a mouse can fit through a hole the size of a pencil! If you find these holes, fill them will silicone or silicon-latex caulk.
- Inspect your windows and doors. Windows and doors that are not properly installed or have lost their weather stripping can allow space for pest to gain entrance. If you have not already done so, add a door sweep to all your exterior doors. Not only does this help reduce drafts, and therefore reduce your energy bill, it will also help to keep pests out.
- Survey the areas in which your utilities are entering your home. You will have more to complain about than just your cable bill if a squirrel decides to use the cable wires as a highway into your home! Make sure that these areas are sealed. The best way to seal the area around utility wires is to use steel wool. Mice are unable to chew through steel wool which makes its use very beneficial.
- Invest in a monitoring system. Purchasing a monitoring system, like glue boards, is an important part of the fall checklist. Both rodents and insects can crawl into very small holes. Sometimes holes are small enough that you might miss them during your inspection. Having glue boards in place will alert you to where the pests are entering your home.
If you check off the above six simple steps this fall then you will be well on your way to securing a safe, pest-free home this winter. Remember, when it comes to pests, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.
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.