Fall And Winter Preparation: Pest Control

Rat Pest Control

As the weather cools down, all sorts of pests start to leave their outdoor habitats for the warmth of another home: yours. Below are some tips for keeping your home creepy-crawly free, without endangering children and pets who may be doing some crawling around of their own.

Check Areas of Entry

Bugs and rodents may seem like they appear out of nowhere, but they do have to get in your house somewhere. If you notice an invasion, try to locate the source. It’s possible that by sealing up cracks around doors and windows, or holes in your roof and around your gutters, you can prevent the pests from getting in in the first place. This is especially important for keeping rodents like rats and squirrels out of your home. Bolstering your entryways also helps keep heat in your home and can help you stay warm while keep your winter energy bill down.

Checking your foundation and roof will not only help you prevent invasion now, but it will help you notice other problems that may need addressing. If your trim is rotting or your gutters are misplaced, that’s something you should fix sooner rather than later. Just as pest invasions can delay being able to sell your home, the structural issues that allow critters in can reduce your property value and result in a lot of work and money spent down the line.

Keep Things Tidy

The more you clean, the less chance you have of unknowingly inviting in pests. Making sure all food is wrapped and put away, and that pet food isn’t kept near entryways is a great start. Regularly cleaning up cobwebs will prevent spiders from returning, and keeping surfaces clean with natural cleaners that repel bugs will help. Many bugs are repelled by lemongrass, lemon, and peppermint, so making cleaners with these plants can go a long way in keeping pests out.

When you return to your home from vacation, especially if you stay in hotels, be sure that you’re not bringing in attractants, or bugs themselves. Immediately washing your luggage and ensuring you’re not bringing in foreign invaders is one of the most effective ways to prevent bed bugs and similar pests.

Lure them Somewhere Else

Just because you don’t want bugs and rodents in your home doesn’t mean you don’t see their place in the world. Spiders are extremely useful for eating other bugs, many of which can be harmful. Squirrels can be annoying, especially if you have bird feeders, but they also end up planting quite a few trees with seeds and nuts that they bury and forget about. So look up the likes of your least favorite pests and plant some lures on your property away from your home. This could be in a far corner of your lawn, garden, or alleyway. You can combine this with a composting project, or an effort to improve your garden by attracting beneficial bugs that eat garden pests.

Of course, this isn’t the case for pests like termites, who will your damage your home and any plants they can get their mouths on. Bats are also a pest who should be eradicated rather than dealt with, as they can spread many different diseases.

What pests do you deal with in the fall and winter? How do you keep them out of your home? Share in the comments!

Brooke Faulkner is a writer, professional ponderer, and proud momma of two from the Pacific Northwest. When she's not at her desk, she's likely to be found zipping around on her old ATV. You can follow her through the buttons below.