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.