The new year is a great time to evaluate the state of your home. Are there repairs that need to be done? Do certain rooms need to be cleaned up? If you want your home to be cleaner and pest-free this year, here are some ways you can make it pest control.
The exterior of your home is the place where pests find their way inside. It may not look it, but modern homes tend to have lots of entry points that are advantageous to the curious pest control. Many pests can fit through holes the size of a coin or smaller. Many also find their way in through whatever landscape or environmental conditions are around your home. Here are some things you can do to make the exterior of your home uninviting to pests.
KEEP MULCH AND LEAVES AWAY
Mulch and leaves are a haven for pests of all kinds, since they are full of moisture and decaying plant matter that can be eaten, along with other tiny creatures that can be hunted. If you have a garden or hedge near your home that you keep mulched, turn or change the mulch every so often to keep it fresh and uninviting to pests.
TRIM BRANCHES AND BUSHES
Overhanging branches, branches that get close to your home, and bushes and plants that hug your walls can act like a bridge for any kind of pest control you could imagine, big or small. You can solve this problem by cutting back tree branches and trimming shrubbery.
KEEP FIREWOOD STACKS AWAY
Homeowners who enjoy building fires in fireplaces or wood stoves may want to stack their firewood outdoors. Make sure to keep firewood at least 20 feet away from the outer walls of your home, and store it on a raised surface so it’s not in direct contact with the ground. The risk here, however, is that pests will try to make themselves a home in your wood stacks. So keep an eye, too, on any firewood that you bring into the home to make sure it doesn’t have any pests living in it, as they could take that opportunity to sneak into your home.
SEAL EXTERIOR CRACKS AND CREVICES
You might not think your home has many entryways for pests, but you might be surprised. Gaps in homes can occur in any place where edges meet, such as where walls end and meet foundations, windows, bricks, stone or any other kind of barrier material. Take some time to investigate for these cracks and holes and seal them with copper mesh and a silicone-based caulk. Look also for places that have a lot of moisture (which is a sure draw for pests) and make sure they stay as dry as possible.
FIX SCREENS AND WINDOWS
If you have a screen door, a screened-in porch or a window that has cracks or holes, this could be a major point of entry for pests. Make sure to patch up mesh that has been torn, fix cracks in glass, and repair any other gaps.
If debris tends to clutter up your gutters, this may be a major source of a pest infestation. From here pests can find their way through your roof or walls and into your home, so make sure to take the time to clear leaves and twigs out of them. Also watch your gutters’ drainage pipes and downspouts at ground level to make sure they are not providing an entry point for pests to crawl in.
One of the best ways to prevent pests from sticking around indoors is to keep a clean house. Regularly clean up crumbs and food waste. Vacuum, dust and disinfect surfaces and floors. Keep stored food (yours and your pets’) in sealed containers off the ground and throw away any that has evidence of pest tampering (i.e. chew marks). Fix moisture leaks, as this attracts anything from rodents to roaches to ants. Monitor used items that enter your house to make sure bugs aren’t nesting in them. When pests enter your home, they’re looking for food, water and secluded areas to nest, so keep them away by removing their food sources. You may not be able to completely keep pests from infesting your home with these methods, but you will definitely make your home less appealing to them.