It’s October in Texas, which means while the rest of the country is enjoying brisk, cool fall air, most of us here in the Lone Star State are still walking around in shorts and flip flops. However, one of the positive things about having a delayed change of seasons is that you have a few extra weeks to get your home ready before the cooler temperates begin. While our sweater-weather days may seem far off in the distance, it won’t be long before you’re enjoying a steaming cup of hot chocolate wrapped in your favorite blanket – and you won’t be the only one trying to stay warm. As the weather cools, pests and rodents will begin looking for a comfortable place to spend the winter; and a cozy, toasty home like yours is the perfect place to do so.
If a pest-infested home and emergency pest control call are not part of your plans this fall/winter season, here are a few ways to keep out insects and rodents.
1. Seal gaps and openings around your home.
One of the best ways to protect your home from pests is to eliminate all possible paths of entry. Spend some time to examine the outside of your home and make notice of all possible entryways. Small openings as small as 1/16 can let in smaller insects like spiders, termites, and ants, while 1/4 inch openings can let in mice. Use caulk, cement, or expandable foam to seal openings around doors, windows, gas meters, dryer vents, and even your garage.
2. Clean out garages and outdoor sheds.
Clutter is a pest or rodent’s best friend in the winter, as it can provide a warm, comfortable place from the cold. Store smaller items off of the floor on a rack or shelf. Not only does this help organize your belongings and prevent your garage or shed from becoming a winter rodent resort, it also makes it much easier to recognize the beginnings of a pest problem before it’s too late.
3. Install a cap on your chimney.
Chimneys can let in anything from birds to squirrels and rodents into your home. A chimney cap is easy to install and can be reused year after year. If you don’t have a chimney but have an attic, consider installing wire mesh to prevent rodents from living in the walls of your home.
4. Clean your pantry.
If you’re offering free heat AND food to insects and rodents, you might as well put a sign on your front door that says “PEST PARTY HERE”. Go through your pantry to make sure that all foods are properly sealed and stored, especially sweets and starches like flour and rice. The last thing you want is to find a slew of bugs in your ingredients as you prepare Thanksgiving dinner.
5. Set up an appointment with a pest control company.
While all of the tips above will help you stay pest-free this fall and winter, the most effective method of pest control is hiring a professional pest control company. Scheduling a pest control service visit as part of your pre-holiday season home maintenance can prevent a future pest problem and/or treat a current pest problem that you may not have been aware of.