Temperatures have dropped this week, and we’re not the only ones preparing for winter. This is a highly active time for pests who are seeking food, water, and some protection from the cold weather. Our partners at PestWorld have developed this fall checklist in coordination with the National Pest Management Association to keep pests outside during the fall and winter:for home and business owners to avoid an infestation of rats, mice, spiders, or insects… the most active fall pests that make the migration.
This week, we even found a black widow spider that had taken up shop in a customer’s garage. The female black widow is highly venomous and dangerous to humans and pets. You can’t miss these spiders, they have a bright red hourglass marking on their abdomen. They often build a web in between storage boxes or in the gaps of firewood where you can’t see them. A misfortunate reach in to grab a box, and you’re going to be heading to the hospital.
So, before the ice and freezing weather sets in, take a few hours and do your own little home inspection to find any spots where pests are going to hold up for the winter!
Pro Tip: Buy some heavy work gloves, a heavy hoodie, and put on some safety glasses while you do your home inspection. That way, as you move or inspect items around the house, you don’t accidentally get bit, touch pest droppings, or have anything drop into your eyes.
Whether you’re a business or a home-owner, here’s a great checklist. Mice only need a hole the size of a dime or a 1/4″ crack to squeeze into your home (rats can fit through a hole the size of a quarter), so be sure to pay close attention as you inspect!
Fall Pest Prevention Checklist
- Openings – Screen attic vents and openings to chimneys, crawl spaces, and any other areas where homes may be open to the outdoors, including mail slots and animal doors.
- Moisture – Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry. Pests are attracted to areas of moisture, something they need to survive. Using dehumidifiers in basements and garages will help keep these areas dry.
- Cracks – Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home using caulk and steel wool. Pay close attention to where utility pipes enter the structure. Some rodents can fit through a hole the size of a dime. Be sure to use a quality, outdoor, 25-year caulk.
- Food – Keep kitchen counters clean, store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles. Crumbs and a buildup of garbage are attractive to pests scrounging for food. It is recommended to clean up after each meal and to properly close garbage cans when they are stored in the home or garage.
- Foundation – Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around the foundation and windows. These are easy ways to keep not only pests, but also cold air out of the house.
- Firewood – Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep shrubbery well trimmed. Removing areas where pests can hide near your home can reduce the chance of them finding a way inside.
- Screens – Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens. Torn window screens and cracks under doors are an ideal entry point for household pests. When you open the window, you could be letting in more than just fresh air.
- Storage – Inspect items such as boxes of decorations, package deliveries, and grocery bags before bringing them indoors. Pests can find creative ways to get inside a home. Shake out or inspect anything that has been left or stored outside.
- Pet Food – Avoid leaving pets’ food dishes out for long periods of time. Pests don’t discriminate between people food and cat food. Pet dishes that have been left sitting out are enticing for all kinds of insects and rodents.
- Drainage – Have a proper outdoor drainage system. Installing gutters or repairing an existing system will help draw water and moisture away from your home, preventing any leaks or build up that might attract pests. Since it’s fall, you may want to get those gutters cleaned out!
You might notice that many of these items are good strategies for keeping your home energy efficient, too! Our friends over at Amos Exteriors have a great article on how to winterize your Indiana home – be sure to check that out for some great tips. They can also assist with ensuring your home is well-insulated as well as installing energy-efficient replacement windows and doors.
Note: If you find pet droppings or some webs, you may already have an unwanted guest. Give us a call and we’ll take care of it for you.
Freedom Pest Control are Members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA)
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a non-profit organization with more than 5,500 members from around the world, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry’s commitment to the protection of public health, food and property. This commitment is reflected both in the continuing education of pest management professionals and the dissemination of timely information to homeowners and businesses.
Nobody likes seeing their homes and office facilities plagued with pests, right? Well, this is the reason why we all need to take specific actions to ensure that our properties remain as free from pests as possible. These measures are simple no doubt; but at times tend to be looked past, owing to how it is the simplest of things that are first to be ignored. Here are a few measures for you to consider for keeping your home and business pest free:
Inspect Your Home and Yard
One of the simplest tips that we can employ for keeping our homes and businesses pest free is the conductance of routine inspections of our homes, business places, and open spaces. This is especially important during the winter season, considering how the season has got the potential of causing considerable wear and tear to our homes. Once the winter snow begins to thaw, therefore, there cannot be a more important time for a thorough inspection. Inspect your homes and other business buildings for any cracks that might have appeared during the winter. Keep your eyes open for broken seals as well.
On top of that, it is essential to remove wood debris from these cracks and your entire yard in general. It is because wood is haven for these insects and encourages them to grow and thrive in numbers. It is also important to remember to trim the bushes and trees in your yard, every once in a while, down to such a height that rodents and other pests are unable to gain access to your attic and roof.
Clean Your Kitchen
Believe it or not, your kitchens are most prone to getting infested by pests. Bearing that in mind, it is important to take extra care of their cleanliness, right? However, regardless of how much you might try to focus on keeping pests away from the kitchen, you will find that you are simply unable to do so. Your kitchen might be spotless, no doubt, but it might still have an ant problem. The reason for such pest infestations lies in how your kitchens are only clean from the outside and not clean on the inside.
What this means is that you need to clean your kitchen thoroughly and deeply, every once in a while, to get rid of the pests for good. During your deep cleaning procedures, remember to take care of the sugary spills, crumbs and the pile of dirty dishes. Clean your oven thoroughly as well. On top of that, it is recommended to use a dishwasher for washing your dirty dishes, rather than the sink. Similarly, trash is supposed to be dumped in sealed containers and not open bins.
Just as human beings are born and raised in homes, a majority of the pests thrive in standing water. If you have got standing water on your property, it simply means that it will be next to impossible for you get rid of your pest problem permanently. After rainfalls, in particular, you need to ensure that water is not allowed to stand on your property for extended durations of time.
On top of that, it is imperative to have your gutters, plumbing, and yard checked regularly for excess moisture, owing to how it could lead to a problem of rodents. The problem of moisture is severe and requires excessive care. What it means is that simple jobs such as overwatering your yard might seem harmless on paper, but they can lead to insects and infestation as well.
Do you have a problem with insects flying in your homes? You would wish to reduce flying insects in your rooms, halls and business facilities, right? Well, to make that happen, you will need to take care of the lights that you have got installed. For those who don’t already know, standard mercury vapor lights attract insects and pests. So, replacing them with halogen or pressure sodium vapor lights will decrease the number of flying insects that you find in your homes manifold.
It is not only the kind of light that you have got installed that matters but the color of the light is of utmost importance as well. Bulbs with yellow, pink or orange tints will be least attractive to flying insects. On top of that, it is advisable to place the light on exterior walls that are as farther away from the door as possible. These are all small things, but they certainly do help when it comes to making your home and business facility pests free.
Hire a Professional
When it comes to keeping your homes and businesses pests free, the fact of the matter is that there are only so many areas that you can cover. The reason for this lies in how you are not professionally trained for taking care of pests and insects for good. What this means is that you should consider hiring a professional contractor for the job, in case you are unable to take care of it on your own. A professional contractor will ensure that not only the job of making your home and business pest free is done in the best possible manner but your precious time is saved as well.
Let’s be honest for a moment: none of us can do a job quite like a professional can, right?
When you take it all into perspective, you have got to say that it appears fairly simplistic to keep your home and business office pests free. However, it would not be wrong to suggest that the job often proves to be a bit too much to handle for average Joes. Bearing this in mind, your safest bet would be to contact us to take care of your predicament.