The days are getting shorter. The wind is getting colder. Fall is upon us, and Midwestern falls are short. We’ve already written about anti-pest habits you could work on this fall, but those are long-term plans. Long-term plans don’t matter when you’re under siege!
And make no mistake: we are under siege. Insects and rodents are dead-set on infiltrating your home this fall. Luckily, you have an expert advisor in this fight–us. We’re basically your personal version of the Spider from Game of Thrones. Follow our advice this fall, and even the most desperate pest won’t be able to make themselves at home in your house.
We’ll start outside and work our way in. It just makes sense; deterring pests before they even get to your home is the ideal pest control strategy. Besides, it’s getting cold out, and we don’t want to spend any more time outside than we have to.
Trim Your Hedges
Keep about five feet of clear space between the edges of your home and the nearest plant. Pests can use nearby plants as cover and shelter. Late fall is the perfect time to trim branches short, because they won’t grow until spring.
Groom Your Lawn
Along with mowing your lawn, clear dead leaves, fallen twigs and branches, and other lawn debris to keep it from piling up or providing cover for opportunistic pests. You should keep doing this after snow covers your lawn, too.
Move Your Firewood
Insects and rodents commonly use firewood piles as shelter, building nests between logs and returning repeatedly with food for their young. Store your firewood 15-20 feet away from your home, and–if possible–keep it on an elevated shelf or platform at least 5 feet off the ground.
Seal Up Cracks
Walk the perimeter of your home. Look for loose mortar, cracks, gaps between screens, and openings around utility lines. Thoroughly patch up these gaps to keep pests from using them to get inside.
Put In Vent Screens
Pests that get onto your roof can easily use chimneys or shafts to crawl into your home. Installing a simple mesh screen will prevent this. Get a professional to help you install these screens; working on a roof is dangerous.
Clear Out Gutters and Drainage
Proper drainage is vitally important for preventing water accumulation. Check roof gutters and clear out leaves and debris. Make sure your sump pump drains properly and your downspouts carry water far enough away. If your drainage system has any problems, the displaced moisture could attract pests.
You’re halfway done! Obviously, once we’ve shored up our outer defenses, we have to look inward. Any pests stubborn enough not to be deterred by our first line will break on our indoor defenses. Here’s how to make that happen:
Keep Food in Airtight Containers
No cardboard, no Ziploc bags–we’re talking hard plastic. Store all the food you keep outside of your refrigerator in a secure container that no pest could penetrate. Every pest that gets into your home wants food, so keeping them away from yours is paramount.
Clean Up Your Basement
Basements are a pest paradise. Clean up yours by organizing boxes and other clutter, vacuuming and dusting, and ensuring the humidity isn’t out of control. If even your basement doesn’t appeal to pests, chances are they’ll get the message and leave you be.
Organize Your Clutter
Pests are shy, and they thrive in environments where they can flee into cover easily and frequently. Pests are also small, so for them, cover means just about anything they can get under. Clear out and organize anything that would constitute pest cover to force your fiendish foes out into the light.
Plumbing leaks are a shockingly common source of excess moisture. Check the pipes in your basement and under your plumbing fixtures for leaks, dripping, or condensation. No matter how small a leak is, it will attract pests, so deal with it ASAP.
Winter is the driest season, but humid parts of your home still attract pests looking for a comfortable environment. First, address sources of moisture like drafts, leaks, and puddling. If you’re still struggling with the moisture problem, consider investing in a dehumidifier.
Replace Old Weather Stripping
Weather stripping is your home’s final defense against pests. It makes up the threshold between your home and the pests outside. Over time, wear and tear may make weather stripping ineffective. Check out the stripping on each door and window and replace any that looks even a little ragged.
These steps may seem like a lot now, but you’d be surprised how fast you can get them all done. If you get all your pest prevention chores done thoroughly before the snow starts falling, you won’t be surprised by any pests this winter. Trust us–your advisor has seen quite a few winters, and plans like this never let us down.
Need some hands-on help with your winter prep plan? Want to make doubly sure you don’t have pests and won’t invite them in this winter? Give us a call today. Together, we’ll throw the pest invaders back where they belong.BACK TO BLOG