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Fall Pest Prevention Tips

MouseAs temperatures start dropping and leaves change color, pests begin looking for a warm place to spend the winter. While it may seem difficult to prevent pests, there are a lot of small steps you can take to keep them out of your home. Whether you’re looking to avoid property or electrical damage, disease-carrying rodents or just the nuisance of dealing with pests, these tips can bring you peace of mind as the weather gets colder.

Block Out Insects and Rodents

Between doors, windows and cracks around the home, it seems like there are countless ways for pests to invade — but a few small actions can go a long way in preventing this. Installing a door sweep on outside doors helps prevent agile pests from squeezing through undetected. Consider adding screens to windows, attic vents and any openings to chimneys, in addition to repairing any that are damaged.

Do a walk-around inspection of your home’s exterior to note any potential entry points that can be sealed off. Filling cracks and holes with a silicone-based caulk can keep away intruders, and steel wool can be used to fill any larger gaps. If it’s been a while, replace weather stripping around your basement foundation and windows to keep everything sealed tight.

Keep Up with Cleanup

We want to keep our homes clean for many reasons, but next time you’re tidying up a mess, think of it as pest prevention. Routinely wiping down counters, sweeping floors and vacuuming carpet can help eliminate crumbs and messes that attract insects and rodents. In your basement, removing cobwebs and running a dehumidifier can also have a big impact on the insect population.

It can also pay dividends to make checking under sinks a habit, as moisture spots under leaking pipes and clogged drains can be a pest magnet.

Work From the Outside In

Aside from sealing off cracks and crevices, there are other helpful pest prevention steps you can take around the outside of your house. Make sure all plants and shrubs near the house are well trimmed and taken care of, cutting back any that are touching your home’s exterior. Be sure to remove any leaves and lawn debris that accumulate, as they can be a hiding place for unwanted insects and rodents.

While it’s common to have mulch and firewood near the house, keeping these (and other organic material) a short distance away helps cut down on the number of pests making their way inside. For firewood, elevating it off the ground will also make it harder to reach for mice and bugs.

Step Up Your Storage

Containers are your friend in the fight against unwanted critters. Putting food — including your pet’s — in sealed plastic containers makes it off limits to hungry rodents, keeping them out of your kitchen. In your garage, basement and other storage spaces, try to use shelving (specifically wire racks) to store your boxes and other items off the floor. This makes them harder to access for pests of all types.

Sometimes, you are the cause of a pest invasion without even realizing it. To help avoid unwanted invaders, inspect all items (such as decorations, packages and grocery bags) before bringing them indoors, and shake out anything that has been left outside.

Set Traps

Sometimes, even the best defenses fail. If pests make it past your well guarded fortress, set traps to stop them in their tracks. By setting up effective, space-efficient traps like the Ketch-All® Multiple Catch Mousetrap, Pro-Ketch® Mousetrap or Stick-All® Glue Trap to stand guard around common areas of entry, you’ll catch any critters before they get too far.