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Tips for Fall: Keep Pests From Becoming Guests

September 13, 2021   |   Pest Control

fall pests

As we say goodbye to the height of mosquito season and—for better or worse—hello to pumpkin spice in just about everything, we’re finally heading outdoors. There’s a downside, though: While cooler temperatures turn our thoughts to the tricks, treats, and turkeys ahead, pests are turning toward our cozy houses. To help make sure that unwanted autumn guests don’t make themselves at home, here are some tips from our pest control experts

Don’t give pests an opening.

Bugs don’t need to look for your front-door welcome mat to find their way inside. Any tiny crack or gap will do as an entry point.

Take advantage of one of our beautiful fall days to get outside and closely inspect your entire house from top to bottom. Keeping in mind that some pests need an opening less than an eighth of an inch to enter, take time to look for even the smallest openings. Depending on where you find them, cracks and crevices can be sealed with various methods:

  • Small cracks in your foundation can be sealed with concrete patch products, which often include vinyl for easy use and a tight seal.
  • Gaps around windows and doors can often be closed by replacing damaged or missing weather stripping. Caulk may come in handy as well.
  • Garage doors get a lot of use and exposure to the elements, and they’re notorious for having worn gaskets along the bottom or deteriorating weather stripping on the sides. Check for spots that may need repair or replacement.
  • Every home has places where pipes and cords or lines come through the walls. One effective method for keeping insects and critters from using these openings as entry points is to pack them with steel wool, then caulk it into place.
  • Roof problems can provide entry points for all types of insects, as well as larger pests such as rodents. You can seal openings with roof sealant products, but also check to see if you need to replace missing shingles. Bonus: Making sure your roof is in good shape will also keep out water. 
  • Attic vents can be covered with hardware cloth that excludes pests but leaves air flowing. Avoid chicken wire, which isn’t as sturdy as rigid hardware cloth.

Keep pests from jumping out of the fire(wood) and into your house.

Even in our mild winters, we have plenty of chances to enjoy our fireplaces and fire pits. If you like to keep a stack of firewood handy for those fire-friendly nights, you may want to make it a little less convenient to grab a few logs to throw onto the fire. There’s a fairly long list of pests who can’t resist the opportunities to eat, shelter, and nest in a nice, dry pile of firewood.

Some firewood-loving pests aren’t a huge concern, such as certain types of beetles who aren’t interested in feasting on your home’s wood framing. Others, though, such as termites, need to be kept as far away as possible from your house. Since it’s not always possible to know which bugs are friends or foes, err on the side of prevention by storing your firewood the right way:

  • Keep wood off of the ground and covered. You not only want to deny termites a chance to infest; you also want to provide good air circulation to speed drying time and keep moisture down, so use some type of rack or raised platform.
  • Keep it well away from your house or garage. Stacking firewood along the exterior walls gives pests easy access to your home’s structure.
  • If you’re bringing firewood indoors, take a minute to inspect it first to make sure pests aren’t coming along with it.
  • Avoid bringing in more firewood than you’ll use in a single session. With time—and the warmer, drier conditions inside your home—some pests may even start laying eggs in firewood. 

Set those gutters free.

Autumn means more leaves and debris piling up in your gutters and blocking downspouts. And, if we have an unusual amount of rainfall, water and moisture may be a problem as well. To reduce the number of pests that love rooting through piles of organic matter for nesting material, check to make sure your gutter system stays free and clear throughout the season.

Check the chimney.

Pests may enter your home through gaps between your roof and chimney, or even by coming right down the chimney flue. Because of its large opening, you may be unpleasantly surprised to find that birds or squirrels were able to easily make their way indoors. You can use wire mesh or a chimney cap to keep critters out while still allowing smoke to rise as it should.

Make your house pest-unfriendly.

Like every other living thing, pests need food, water, and shelter. To make sure you’re not providing any of these necessities, you can:

  • Do a thorough fall cleaning that includes getting rid of clutter, such as stacks of old cardboard boxes in the attic and piles of wood scraps and paper in your garage. These materials are ideal for building nests.
  • Maintain a tidy house by taking time each night to wipe up spills and crumbs in your kitchen that offer a tasty snack for all types of pests. Also, check that bathroom faucets aren’t left dripping and that the kids haven’t stashed cookies and crackers in their rooms. A little bit of vigilance can go a long way toward keeping pests from invading your space.

Call the Turner pest pros for help.

If you notice pests making themselves at home in your home, we’ll be glad to do a free inspection and give you a free quote on the pest control services you may need. Request your inspection online today!

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