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.