The lazy days of summer are just about over. Fall is upon us, and so will be fall pests if you don’t prepare the outside of your home properly.
As the cooler weather begins to settle in, the pests we so often associate with the outdoors can quickly become indoor pests. Just as humans seek shelter from the cold, outdoor pests will do the same and your warm home, full of food and water, is the perfect winter retreat.
What kind of pest might I find in my house in fall?
There are many fall pests: rodents, spiders, yellow jackets, ants, and cockroaches are the most common. But you might also find stink bugs, flies, beetles, bed bugs, lady bugs and bees.
When we say ‘pest’ we aren’t just talking about bugs and insects. Mice and rats are the most common fall and winter home invader.
Keep these pests out of your home by sealing points of entry, usually around the outside of the house, with caulk and mesh.
Make sure vents are covered, screens are repaired, and install weather stripping around doors. Last, cut back shrubs and branches so mice can’t just walk up and over into your home from the yard.
You can knock down cobwebs all winter long, but before you do consider this … spiders are natures insect repellant. Spiders can reduce the amount of other pests in your home and out.
Sure, it is not fun to walk into a cobweb, but if you can avoid it you might consider leaving it alone. A spider wouldn’t build a web if it didn’t think there was food in the area.
Yellow jackets, hornets and wasps are the most common stinging insects found in the home. As the food source for these stinging insects starts to diminish, these stinging pests seek new food sources including juice, candy, pastries, meet, and dairy.
Keep your garbage cans closed tight, your screen doors fixed and closed, your vents sealed, and food sealed and stowed away if you wish to keep these pests from seeking shelter inside your home.
Ants create trails so other ants from the colony can quickly and efficiently seek out new food sources. If you don’t want a trail that leads into your home you should consider the following prevention tips.
Seal all cracks around the foundation, store food in airtight containers, sweep floors often, eliminate sources of standing water and keep tree branches and plants cut back.
Additionally, don’t store firewood and building materials next to the home and don’t store unused firewood in the home overnight.
The cockroach – day or night, summer, fall, or winter, these are pests you do not want in your home; ever! Cockroaches are known to carry and spread all kinds of bacteria and they can trigger asthma attacks in children.
Since cockroaches tend to be found near pipes and drains, keep kitchens and bathrooms sanitized, vacuum frequently and ensure that all cracks around the home are sealed.
Also, store leftover food and pet food in storage containers, take out the trash daily, and seal entry points into the home with caulk and expanding foam.
10 fall pest control tips
Toss the chip clips, clothes pins, and paper bags. When it comes to proper sealing and storage of food use storage containers instead. Storage containers are harder to access, can be easily stacked and sorted, and they keep your food dry.
Insects are attracted to leaves, mulch, wet soil, and other common fall materials, and rodents often seek shelter in a garage or basement. But if you rake and dispose of the dead leaves, and clean up the inside of the garage, you are eliminating the hiding places often sought after by fall pests.
Pests need water to survive. In the winter, indoors, these pest will seek out water from condensation, leaking pipes, and ceiling leaks. Fix these issues and you’ll reduce one major resource that pests need to survive. If they can’t find water, they won’t stick around in the winter.
Pests like nothing better than easy entry into your home. A shrub, placed close to the house, gives them easy access to windows and doors. While a tree branch provides a path to your roof, chimney, and eaves just in case the windows are shut.
Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter. Use caulk and expanding foam to seal the space and deny entry.
Take the time to perform a thorough exterior inspection of your home. Look for openings, cracks, gaps, including in all exit and entry points of utilities and vents, damaged screens, and damaged or missing door sweeps. Remediate any issues you might stumble upon if you want to prevent pests from getting inside.
Many homes use firewood for warmth in the winter, but don’t be tempted to store it close to you home. Keep firewood at least 20 feet away from the house, and only bring in the amount that you plan to burn. You do not want to leave firewood in your home if isn’t being burned.
Windows screens, mosquito nets, and similar barriers protect against inquisitive summer and fall pests, but only if they provide complete protection. And as long as the frame is in good shape repairs are easy and can be done in a few minutes.
Make it a rule to never leave food out overnight, including dirty plates. These draw in hungry fall pests that will happily make your kitchen their winter home.
We need vents in our homes to expel bad air and bring in new/clean air. You can’t close these areas off completely, but you can introduce screens and mesh that allow the air to flow in and out, but is small enough to keep the pests from entering through this window.
The last word ...
To be honest, there are hundreds of precautions, preparations, and fixes you can install to help seal and prevent your home from the fall pest migration. Crossing all the T’s and dotting all the I’s can be a real chore and still, despite your best efforts, pests still might find their way into your home.
If they do, call Sigma Pest Control. At Sigma Pest Control, our pest technicians are trained to help manage pests of all kinds. Regardless of whether you have one pest or a thousand, we will design a program that is right for your situation.
We offer free inspections, and our professional and courteous customer service speaks for itself. No sales pressure, no gimmicks, and no hidden costs. You get first rate service and an end to your fall pest problems.
Call Sigma Pest Control for a free inspection – 540-94-SIGMA.