As the days get shorter and falling temperatures force people to become more of a homebody, many fall pests will have the same idea of making your house a home. Pest, such as rodents, squirrels, cockroaches, and spiders may try to find their way inside your home to escape the coming chill, bringing with them a number of health risks.
One of the best ways to get homes ready for the fall and winter months is to conduct a simple check of your house and perform any necessary maintenance to keep fall pests out.
Proactive and vigilant fall pest-proofing is crucial in preventing pests from coming indoors.
Besides being a nuisance and irksome, these pests can also pose serious risks — rodents spread diseases such as Salmonella, contaminate food and can damage drywall and electrical wires throughout a home. Cockroaches trigger allergies and asthma, especially in children, and some species of spiders may bite if their hiding spot is discovered.
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends these pest-proofing tips for the fall season:
- Screen attic vents and openings to chimneys.
- Eliminate moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.
- Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home using caulk and steel wool. Pay close attention where utility pipes enter the structure.
- Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles.
- Replace loose mortar and weather-stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house; keep shrubbery well-trimmed.
- Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens.
- Inspect items such as boxes of decorations and grocery bags before bringing them indoors.