As you’re no doubt all-too-well aware, fall is fast approaching. Unfortunately, we aren’t the only ones trying to prepare for it. As temperatures drop and nights get longer, all sorts of fall pests start getting desperate to find a place to keep warm. If you’re not vigilant, that place could be your place!
The best way to prevent fall pests from infesting your home is to start developing good habits now. The earlier and more often you practice your anti-pest regimen, the more second-nature it will feel. These are the four best anti-pest habits to develop for ensuring a pest-free fall and winter around your home this year.
Secure the Perimeter!
Walk around your perimeter of your home and look for places where something brushes up against the foundation, siding, or roof. Fall pests can use anything that physically touches your home to climb up into your home. There should be a minimum of 4 to 5 feet between your home and the nearest bush or plant. Trim shrubs and branches and pick up yard debris until you’ve created a “no man’s” (or, in this case, “no pest’s!”) land around your home.
A lot of the stuff you keep in your yard ends up becoming a haven for nearby pests. Store your firewood 20 feet or more away from your home, preferably in a shed or other form of cover. While you’re outside, look for other places where pests could get in. Make sure there aren’t gaps around where utility lines enter the building. Check for cracks near the foundation or by basement window frames.
Keep the Kitchen Clean
Fall pests might try to get into your home to keep warm, but they’ve still gotta eat. Bugs and rodents alike want to infest homes where they can get their grubby mitts on food easily and reliably. A cluttered and messy kitchen is perfect for gross little scavengers looking for sloppy seconds. Don’t leave any food out on countertops, whether it’s fruit, bread, or anything else. Pests aren’t particularly discerning.
Wipe down eating surfaces thoroughly after every meal. Do the dishes right away instead of leaving them out to soak, and put them away dry when you’re done. Take grains like cereals and pastas out of their original cardboard packaging to keep them in more secure hard plastic. Dispose of overripe fruit and vegetables outside immediately, even if you keep them in your fridge. Discourage casual snacking throughout the house, or at least thoroughly clean up after you do it. If pests can’t get your food, they’re much less likely to want to live with you.
Don’t Neglect the Yard
Just because it’s fall doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods yet when it comes to lawn maintenance. In fact, in some ways, fall is the most important part of the year for practicing diligent yard care. Unkempt lawns provide cover and food for the same fall pests that will eventually try to infiltrate your home. As if that wasn’t bad enough, a lot of pests can actually damage yards while they’re at it.
Start by picking up yard debris like fallen branches, twigs, and leaves. It’s easy to underestimate, but pests will use whatever they can find. Next, be sure to keep your grass mowed and your bushes trimmed until they stop growing for the season. Finally, make sure there aren’t wet spots or puddles anywhere in your yard. If you find some, find a way to address the problem, whether that’s better draining or leveling the terrain.
Take the Garbage Out
Every night before you go to bed, empty every garbage and recycling can in your home into your outdoor dumpsters. Pests are attracted to easily obtained meals, especially when those meals are fatty, sugary, or starchy. Any leftovers sitting out in the open air will draw hungry undesirables like crazy. Even if you don’t want the rest of that pizza, we’re guessing you don’t want to invite pests over to have it, either.
Store all garbage and recycling in plastic bags–even when it’s in the dumpster. Line garbage cans to prevent residue from building up in the bottoms over time. Thoroughly clean and scrub down garbage cans about twice a year, even if you line them. Consider taking particularly pungent foods out to the dumpster right away instead of leaving them sit in the can. Something as simple as taking the garbage out will deprive pests of a main food source and make your home far less appealing in the process.
We understand feeling anxious about fall pests. After all, if they get inside your home, you could wind up stuck with them all winter. There’s no reason to panic–get active instead! Start following these tips routinely, and you’ll have a pestproof property in no time!
Of course, if worst comes to worst and you do end up with a pest infestation, you never need to just put up with it. Call Plunkett’s anytime–even in the winter–and we’ll make sure your pests aren’t problems any more. Enjoy the rest of your fall!BACK TO BLOG