Cooler weather is finally here! Time for sweaters, boots, and cozy nights inside. While you and your family are spending more time inside, pests are looking to wait out the cold in your home as well. Here are a few tips you can use now before you end up with overwintering pests that overstay their welcome.
- Before unboxing decorations from the garage or attic, inspect the boxes thoroughly. Pests may have taken up residence inside and look to use these storage materials as an entry point into your home.
- Be sure to store any firewood at least 20 feet away from the exterior of your home. The firewood can act as a hiding place for pests. By moving the wood away from your home, it will reduce incident of invasions.
- Kitchens are huge entry points for pests. Keep counters free of crumbs and spills, utilize airtight containers to store open food, and use lids on garbage cans.
- Look to screen vents and chimneys, seal cracks and crevices, install door sweeps, and replace weather-stripping to cut down on pests looking to make your home their winter hideout.
With these tips you will hopefully be able to enjoy your holidays pest free. If you have an issue with pest invasions, reach out to your local pest control company to schedule an inspection.
Even with cold weather on the way, mosquitoes will stay active through the fall months. It is important to continue to take precautions when outdoors and be wary of breeding sites around your home. Doing so will cut down on mosquito populations and the spread of mosquito-borne diseases like Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a disease that has had 20 human cases in 2019 in the United States.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is rare, but it can be life-threatening. There are two types of illnesses caused by EEE: systemic and encephalitic, with the latter being the most serious. The symptoms after a bite are flu-like including chills, fever, and pain in joints. However, if encephalitic, the symptoms can escalate to vomiting and convulsions. There have been cases recorded in Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.
During mosquito season, look to use these tips to cut down on mosquito encounters:
- Remove areas of standing water around your home and business
- Utilize insect repellent containing DEET
- Avoid outdoor activities during peak mosquito times which are dawn and dusk
- Call a professional mosquito control company to get a thorough inspection and comprehensive treatment plan to help combat the mosquitoes around your home
Contracting this disease is rare, but by taking these precautions you can help further protect you and your family from mosquitoes and their bites. Click here for more information on EEE cases in the United States.
It’s October! Time for all things pumpkin, fall decorations, and staying in to enjoy your home. A potential drawback: the South, unfortunately, does not have instant cooler weather. With temperatures teetering between 85 and 90 degrees, your home might be battling moisture issues and pest invasions in your crawlspace throughout the month. Let’s look at what problems could arise and how investing in crawlspace solutions could help!
Excessive moisture and warm weather work together to create the perfect environment for pests. In addition, your home’s crawlspace is the ideal entry point for pests to enter and invade your home. (Think termites, cockroaches, ants, earwigs, and millipedes)
Mold Growth/Wood Rot
Along with pests, the high humidity also contributes to conditions suitable for mold growth and wood rot. This can cause severe health issues for members of your home that suffer from asthma and allergies.
Investing in the sealing of your home’s crawlspace won’t just help with cutting down on moisture issues; it can also improve the air quality of your home for you and your family. Acting as a natural pest control barrier, you can get back to enjoying those fall nights indoors and not worrying about what could be taking over your crawlspace.
Interested in crawlspace solutions for your home? Call your local crawlspace care provider to schedule an inspection for your home.
As temperatures start to cool off, panic can overtake pests who need to seek out shelter from the impending cold weather. They will often, unfortunately, set their sights on your warm, cozy home. Here are a few of the most common overwintering pests and what you can do to prevent them.
Stink bugs flock to homes in large numbers during the fall. They position themselves on the side of your home that receives the most sunlight in an attempt to keep warm. A thorough inspection for possible entry points is key in prevention of an invasion.
Boxelder bugs are one of the more aggressive species of overwintering pests. Like the stink bug, they will make use of the sunny side of your home and cars. They will utilize openings they find and gather by the hundreds. Crushing these pests is not recommended as their remains can attract carpet beetles. Vacuuming should be used to remove them from the home.
As universally adored as they are, lady bugs are an overwintering pest that can take over your home in a matter of days. They utilize windows and door openings to enter; therefore, checking and replacing weather-stripping and sealing with silicone-based caulk can help keep them out before fall starts.
If you have an issue with overwintering pests, reach out to your local pest control company to schedule an inspection.
Fall is a busy time for wildlife. As the days get shorter and temperatures drop, animals begin their frantic preparations for winter. Fall is a time to stock up on food and find warm places to shelter over the cold winter months. These preparations often lead wildlife into your homes in search of food, warmth, and shelter. There are several common critters that become more active in the autumn months. Here are some of the most common along with ways to prevent them from taking up residence in your home.
Rodents such as rats and mice will often seek shelter in your home because it provides them with a readily available food supply throughout the winter. You will begin to hear their activity in the walls and attic in the fall as they start storing food in their nests. You can prevent rodents by:
- Sealing up holes inside and outside the home
- Trapping rodents around the home to help reduce the rodent population
- Storing food in plastic or metal containers with tight lids
- Cleaning up spilled food immediately and washing dishes soon after use
- Storing pet food in sealed containers and not leaving them out overnight
- Keeping compost bins as far away from the house as possible
Raccoons are nocturnal creatures that hunt for food at night. They start to “fatten up” in the fall in preparation for the cold winter months with a scarce food supply. This makes them more active and more creative in their search for food – often leading them to your trash cans and home. Raccoons will often enter your home via the roof and are known to seek shelter in attics and crawlspaces. You can prevent raccoons by:
- Installing fences around your yard and garden areas
- Install bright exterior lights to deter them from your yard at night
- Keep trash in cans with secure, locking lids
- Seal any entry points on the exterior of your home
- Rinse out trash cans once a month to help eliminate odors
- Spray down trash bags with ammonia to help cover up the trash smell
Like raccoons, squirrels also like to “fatten up” in the fall as they get ready for the cold months of winter. Squirrels will often seek shelter in attics where they will make their nests and store their food. Squirrels are especially hazardous in homes because of their tendency to chew through wood and wires, creating the potential for significant and costly damage to your house. You can prevent squirrels by:
- Keeping bags of seed sealed and stored high on shelves
- Rake up and dispose of any seeds or leaves that fall from trees
- Take down bird feeders in the fall as squirrels love to scavenge these for seed
- Don’t leave pet food and water out overnight
- Trim back any limbs or branches that extend within 10 feet of your home
- Install chimney caps or screens
Chipmunks behave very similarly to squirrels with one exception – they will burrow in your yard instead of nesting in your home. Chipmunks build burrows in areas where they can easily access food during the winter. Chipmunks eat the same diet as squirrels including seeds, nuts, berries, grubs, and roots. Chipmunk burrows can cause serious damage to your yard. You can prevent chipmunks by:
- Consider installing fencing that is at least 8 inches deep around your yard, garden, or your entire property
- Make sure any exterior holes in your home are sealed
- Cover chimneys, vents, and pipes with mesh covers
- Clean up any leaves, nuts, or fruit that fall from trees as soon as possible
- Take bird feeders down in the fall and clean up any spilled birdseed daily
- Keep landscaping mowed and trimmed back
Bats will roost once temperatures dip below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. While some species will migrate south once the weather cools off, others will hibernate until spring. They will search for warm, dark spaces to roost that are hidden from predators but still easy for them to access. Unfortunately, they will often make their roosts in the attic or chimney of your home. You can prevent bats by:
- Ensuring the attic is well sealed
- Checking insulation to make sure it isn’t worn down
- Installing chimney screens
- Sealing any openings in shingles and weatherstripping
- Use window screens and draft guards on doors and windows that go into the attic
Wildlife removal can be difficult and is oftentimes best left to a professional. If you suspect you have a problem with wildlife, contact a professional wildlife control company who can inspect your home to identify your animal problem, determine where they are getting in, remove them, and prevent the animals from getting into your home in the future.
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