How to Pest-Proof Your Home This Fall

It’s finally autumn again. The days are cool and crisp; the leaves are starting to change; there’s been a major resurgence of plaid shirts and cozy sweaters.

But, the fall isn’t all pretty leaves and Pumpkin Spiced Lattes. It’s also the time of the year for outdoor pests to start making their way into our homes, looking for a little warmth and shelter.

Rodents, ants, bed bugs, cockroaches and spiders are just a few of the many pests that people commonly start finding in their homes during the fall.

No one wants to deal with pests. Not only do they leave nasty droppings in our homes, but some can do real damage to property, and some carry diseases that can be transferred to people.

The good news is that there are many things you can do to prevent pests from getting into your home and ruining your fall this year.

Tips to pest-proof your home this fall

#1. Seal doors and windows

Pests are ingenious when it comes to finding ways into our homes, but the most basic way pests get in is through windows and doors.

When you keep your doors and windows open, it’s like an open invitation to mice and other pests that are looking for a warm place to nest. If you don’t already have screen doors, consider installing them wherever it makes sense. That way, you can enjoy the fall breeze without letting pests in.

You should also ensure that all of your windows have screens that are intact and in good shape. Replace or repair any screens that require it.

#2. Keep pet food off of the floor

Pet food that is kept on the floor can be incredibly enticing to mice and other rodents that will bite holes in pet food bags. And, when your pet eats and drops crumbs next to their bowl, those bits of food on the ground can attract ants and other pests.

Store pet food more securely in a large, airtight container made of thick plastic or another material that will keep the food fresh and safe from pests. And, when you feed your furry friend, do so on a rubber mat that can be easily cleaned up after mealtimes.

#3. Clean up your yard

Colorful, falling leaves are one of the earmarks of fall. But, no matter how beautiful those orange, red and yellow leaves may be, you should avoid letting them sit around in your yard for too long.

Leaf piles are the perfect hiding place for pests of all sorts, and raking and cleaning up fallen leaves and pine needles on a regular basis is an important part of keeping pests away from your home.

For effective pest prevention, it’s also important to keep firewood piles away from your home, pick up pet droppings on a regular basis and store trash cans away from your home with properly sealed lids.

#4. Invest in a bird feeder

Bird feeders are a great addition to any yard. Not only are birds fun to watch and pleasant to listen to, but birds are also a powerful weapon when it comes to pest control.

Birds eat all kinds of insects that might be making their way into your home, including ants, beetles, moths, flies and more, as well as spiders.

Investing in a bird feeder is a better way to get birds to your home than a birdbath, which has standing water that can actually attract pests. Just make sure that your bird feeder is squirrel-proof.

#5. Keep your kitchen clean

Crumbs and tiny bits of food attract a whole host of different pests into your home, many of which have a strong sense of smell. That’s why keeping your kitchen clean is a key part of pest prevention.

For many of us, cleaning the kitchen becomes doing the dishes and not much else. But, when it comes to pest prevention, you’ll need to be a bit more thorough.

Clean crumbs off of counters and the floor, clean up coffee grounds or sugar near the coffee maker, regularly sweep out the pantry and cabinets and keep stored food off of the floor.

#6. Seal openings

Pests are clever at finding innovative ways to get into our homes. And, if there’s an opening, you can assume that a pest will find it and use it.

Take some time to thoroughly inspect your home for any openings that a pest could use to get in. Be sure to check around the dryer vent, exterior outlets and utility meters.

Seal any openings you find with screens or caulk to keep the pests out. Consider installing wire mesh over any vents in the attic or roof.

#7. Keep gutters clean and working properly

Leaves not only fall on the ground, they fall on your roof and eventually end up in your gutters.

When your gutters are clogged with leaves, twigs and other debris, it gives pests a good place to hide on your roof. It also hinders rain and melted snow from leaving your roof, which can lead to roof leaks.

A leaking roof can lead to all kinds of damage to your home, but did you know that leaks and excess moisture can actually attract pests, as well?

Make sure that you are regularly inspecting and cleaning your gutters to ensure they are working properly, especially during the fall.

#8. Be careful about what you bring inside

Pests are sneaky, and you’d be surprised at how often people unknowingly bring them into their homes of their own volition.

Carefully inspect things you bring into your home, particularly boxes of holiday decorations you’ve been storing and package deliveries. Take special care to shake and inspect anything that has been stored outdoors.

Find a pest control company near you

There are a lot of things you can do on your own to keep the pests at bay this fall, but sometimes, you need a professional on your side.

Start your search for a pest control company near you with Top Rated Local®. You can read pest control reviews from across the web, compare pest control companies side by side and so much more.

Find the right pest control company near you today.

How to Find the Right Pest Control Company

When you’ve got pests, you need a pest control company you can trust.

Spring is in full swing, which means that a lot of pests are more active than usual. Not only do you have to deal with the typical squirrels, mice, and rats that are always around, but spring and summer bring many seasonal pests, as well, including bees and wasps or snakes.

When you call a local pest control company, you want to know that you can trust them to get the job done. Today, I hope to help you learn what to ask in order to find the right one

What to Ask When Looking for a Pest Control Company

#1. Are they licensed?

Any pest control company you hire needs to be properly licensed in your state, and that licensing needs to be up to date. Proper licensing ensures that the pest control company in question understands all of the applicable laws and regulations in the pest control industry. It also ensures that the technicians who will be working in your home or commercial space have been properly trained on methods and materials, as well as on the necessary safety measures they need to have in place.

You don’t have to take a company’s word about licensing. To find out for yourself if a pest control company is properly licensed, you can contact your state pesticide regulatory agency, or you can always ask to see a copy of their licenses and certifications.

#2. What is their online reputation like?

A part of your search for any local business should include checking out the business’s online reputation, and the best way to do this is by reading their reviews. Reading previous customer reviews can help you learn about what kind of experience other customers have had with the business, which can give you more peace of mind about working with a business for the first time.

When reading reviews, look at the most current reviews, and try to read both positive and negative reviews. Also, look at how the business responds to negative feedback. Do they correct their mistakes and work to turn negative experiences around, or do they get defensive about it?

Make sure that you also read reviews from multiple review sources. A pest control company’s reputation on Yelp may be wildly different than its reputation on Google or Angie’s list. To get a quick look at a local pest control company’s overall online reputation and read their reviews from across the web, start your search with Top Rated Local®.

#3. Are they experienced?

As a general rule, the more experience a pest control company has, the more knowledgeable they’ll be about the job. While this isn’t always the case and experience doesn’t always translate into better service, it’s always a good idea to find out how long a pest control company has been operating and what kind of experience they have with your own pest control issue.

For example, if you’ve found seven garter snakes in your yard, you probably won’t get the kind of results you want if you hire a pest control company that has spent the last 20 years dealing with rodents. There are many different pest control companies out there, and they have different amounts of experience with different issues. Find out what kind of experience they have before you think about working with them.

#4. What are their rates like?

Obviously, you need to make sure that you hire a pest control company whose service rates are within your budget. And, it’s always a good idea to call multiple pest control companies to compare their rates.

Be careful if a company is offering you significantly lower rates than their competitors. If their rates are low, there’s probably a good reason for it. It may be that they use cheaper pest control chemicals or cut corners where safety is concerned.

#5. What methods do they use?

Always ask the pest control company in question what kind of methods they will use when providing pest control services. And, if you have questions or concerns about the methods they use, they should be able to address them or offer alternative pest control methods that you’re more comfortable with.

#6. Do they offer a guarantee?

The last thing that you want is to be lulled into a false sense of security thinking your pest control issue has been taken care of, only to find a resurgence of the infestation. That’s why you should always find out what kind of a guarantee the pest control company in question is offering.

If a company says that it offers a guarantee, make sure that you get it in writing, ahead of time. A spoken guarantee doesn’t mean much, and it’s always preferable to get guarantees in writing as often as you can.

#7. How will they keep you safe?

Safety is always something you should consider when hiring a pest control company, especially if you have pets or kids who might be at risk if dangerous methods or chemicals are used to eliminate pests. But, during the coronavirus pandemic, there are additional safety questions you should ask.

Find out whether or not their technicians get time off when they’re sick, and what the company is doing to keep their customers and employees safe while on the job. You should also make sure any pest control company you hire provides the adequate safety equipment to their technicians, like masks and gloves.

#8. What will they do to prevent pests from coming back?

If one pest has been able to find its way into your home, chances are, more will be able to follow in their footsteps in the future. That’s why it’s not enough to hire someone who will get rid of the pests that you have. They should also be able to help you prevent infestations in the future.

There are a lot of great pest control companies out there ready to meet your needs, but they’re not all made equal. Take the first step toward finding the right pest control company near you with Top Rated Local today