The crisper days of autumn feel good after a long hot summer. These are the months to snuggle indoors, enjoying some cooler weather. Unfortunately, humans aren’t the only ones looking for a warm place to settle in for the winter ahead. There are plenty of pests that are also seeking shelter – and if you aren’t careful, that shelter might be your home!
Pests to Keep an Eye Out For
Fall means more than cooler days and brilliant colors all around; it also means an influx of pests scouring for a place to stay for the winter. Among the most common pests to keep a watch out for are:
- Rodents: keeping a close eye out for mice and rats should be your #1 priority during the fall months. If left to inhabit your abode, these pests will nest in your walls (destroying the insulation meant to keep everyone warm this winter) and knaw at your electrical wiring. Plus they tend to get into any food source and can spread disease.
- Bees and Wasps: while bees generally do not survive colder temperatures, they can become more aggressive as the temperatures dip in the fall. This is because they are frantic to find a place to keep warm. One warning here: The Queen does survive the winter and generally finds a safe haven in the attic, so be sure to check there for any signs of infiltration. Wasps, on the other hand, will survive the winter and tend to take up residence in garages and sheds.
- Ants: these may be small, but they can be a real hassle if they decide to hide out in your home or foundation over the winter. Look for signs that ants are moving in during the late summer and early fall (when they tend to relocate).
- Cockroaches: these nasty creatures are drawn to moisture under your home, so keeping things as dry as possible can help deter them.
- Stink Bugs: known to come indoors during the late summer and early fall, stink bugs are nearly impossible to get rid of once they infiltrate your walls. Your best course of action: prevention!
Signs of Trouble
Keeping pests out of your house begins with prevention. This includes watching for signs that they may be making a move. Here are some telltale signs to watch out for:
- Droppings: rodents tend to leave clear evidence that they are in your house. Look for drippings in common hiding places like the attic, basement, closets, pantry, etc.
- Knaw Marks: mice and rats tend to leave their mark wherever they are. This includes knowing marks in food packages, boxes, etc.
- Sawdust: notice small pikes of sawdust near windowsills and doorways? This could be a sign of wasps, ants or other small insects.
Tips for Keeping Pests Out!
Don’t want to share your home with pests this winter? Then start looking for ways to keep them out now. Here are a few fall tips:
- Inspect your siding with a mirror. This will help you see cracks and gaps that may let pests in.
- Seal every crack and gap. It doesn’t take a big hole to let a pest in. Even a gap as small as a coin can offer a good entry point for almost any pest. Take a good look around the exterior of your home, looking for even the smallest gap in the siding. Then start filling them. This begins by caulking windows and doors well; filling holes and gaps with copper mesh (this keeps bugs out); sealing areas around utility pipes, and sealing soffits.
- Remove old landscaping. Your flower beds may look nice, but they are a breeding ground for insects and other pests. Be sure to clear out any dead plants and grasses, and remove mulch and soil from around your foundation. Cut back trees and shrubs, leaving space between your home and your yard.
- Keep firewood away from the house! You may enjoy a warm fire in the winter, but pests absolutely adore those piles of wood you need to make that fire. The best way to keep those pests from getting in your house is to keep all of that wood away from your home – at least 20 feet away!
- Watch your fall decorations. Sure those mums, scarecrows and pumpkins make your home look more festive, but they are also attracting fall pests right to your front door. If you must decorate with hay, straw, scarecrows and more, try and keep pest-welcoming decorations away from your home and foundation. Use these items out in the yard instead.
- Keep your basement dry. a moist basement is a breeding ground for all kinds of insects and pests. Keep the humidity level at 40% to make it a less desirable place for pests to hang out.
Not sure how to prevent – or get rid of – fall and winter pests from infiltrating your home? Call the experts at Perfection Pest Control for a fall inspection today!