What to Look ForFirst, examine the outside of your home. Look for easy access points like holes in corners, damaged screens, or utility entry points for pipes and cables. For screens and sweeps, replace or repair as needed to seal out unwanted pests. Many utility entries should be sealed with silicone caulk. If the gap is too wide to be sealed with caulk, use expanding foam as a sealant. Any additional holes, punctures, or chewed entry-ways should be sealed and plugged up with steel wool. Steel wool is difficult for insects to crawl through and is practically impossible for rodents to chew. General home maintenance is also an effective method for preventing pests. Loose mortar around the basement or foundation allows smaller insects to sneak through, and is also an avenue for water to seep in and environmentally controlled air to escape from. Likewise, any damaged weather strips should be repaired. Both of these are not only good for pest control throughout the year, but for helping to reduce energy costs for your home’s heating and cooling. The added insulation keeps your air in and the outside air out. On the outside, clear debris away from the home. Tree limbs, compost and wood piles, unused bricks, or any general mess can create safe havens for pests. When these are too close to the home, they attract creatures who will eventually seek entrance into your home. By the same token, you should trim away brush, hedges, and tree limbs from the edges of your home. Of course, any tree branches which are growing over the roof of your house can be dangerous, so trimming in advance to prevent pests will also prevent future home damage. Don’t forget that a pet door is designed to let animals in and out of your home. If you don’t own a pet, seal the flap or replace the door. If you do still have a pet, then make sure the door is working properly and that it can still keep out insects.
The Short of it:
- Find and repair easy access points
- Fill all holes and gaps
- Keep the area around your house clean
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