The leaves are falling, the temperatures are dropping and the air is crisp. Fall is finally here, and while that does mean puffy sweaters and fun spooky decorations, it also means that you might be experiencing more pests and critters inside your home than normal.
Like any of us, when conditions outside start to become unfavorable, critters and rodents seek a more ideal shelter with warmth and a food source. Unfortunately, your home may just be the closest shelter that fits that description.
Luckily, there are some simple things you can do now to prevent this from becoming a nuisance in another few weeks. After all, it's better to do the work ahead of time rather than discovering mice in your pantry or hearing the pitter-patter of furry feet in your attic. Here are a few tips for prepping your home against critters this fall.
Clean Up the Yard
Yard work doesn’t end when the summer does. You should continue to cut the grass and trim the bushes until they stop growing, which is usually well into November or December. Bugs love long grass for shelter as it helps protect from the cold and often wet elements above. Similarly, clear any debris or piles of leaves from your yard as quickly as possible. These make ideal shelter for mice and other rodents.
Trim back any bushes, trees or shrubs at least two to three feet from the exterior of your home. Mice, squirrels and larger rodents will use these as a bridge to get into your home as temperatures really start to drop. Although it’s not foolproof, you can eliminate an easy access point.
Seal Exterior Cracks and Holes
While you’re outside doing the yard work, do a quick survey of the exterior of your home. Mice can fit into a hole as small as a pencil, and many pests squeeze in through small gaps around utility wiring, windows and doors, so you’ll want to seal up any cracks, holes or crevices while you can.
Caulk the gaps around utility lines as they enter your home, and do the same wherever caulking needs repair around windows and doors. Next, check the weatherstripping. What was okay last year may now need replacing. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for bigger holes and gaps around chimneys and plumbing. These may require calling a professional to help patch up.
Everyone’s heard of spring cleaning, but whatever happened to fall cleaning? Take this opportunity to clean out your more cluttered spaces, likely a garage, attic or shed. These areas are usually the first place critters will take up residence as they are sheltered from weather, offer plenty of places to hide and don’t get visitors too often.
The more “stuff” you can remove, the less likely you’ll find unpleasant reminders of these critters come spring.
Food areas like pantries and kitchens are one of the most attractive destinations for critters, for obvious reasons. Make sure all food is sealed and packed away in airtight containers, and don’t leave bags open and unattended. As much as possible, try to confine eating to a few key areas so you know where the crumbs are and can easily clean them up.
While all of these will lessen your chance of an invasion this fall, you may still see or hear unwanted pests inside. Call a professional pest control service like Pestmaster to inspect, diagnose and treat the problem from start to finish so you can go back to enjoying apple cider by the fireplace. Contact us today for more information and to schedule your service.