As colder weather arrives, all kinds of smaller animals and insects will seek out warmer places to hide while they wait for spring. Unfortunately, this leaves your home as prime real-estate for all kinds of pests and vermin. Many of these animals, while perfectly acceptable outdoors, can cause damage when inside your home. The nesting habits of mice and other rodents will damage insulation and wiring, and can become a severe fire hazard. Even if this weren’t a hazard, pests and vermin have the potential to spread disease and can severely increase asthma and allergy problems.
While the autumn seasonal change is ideal for maintaining your home to prevent pests from entering, there are countless reasons for them to enter throughout the year. So it’s never a bad idea to inspect and maintain your home against their intrusion.
What to Look For
First, 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
Of course, at Boulden Brothers, we can repair any existing electrical or central air damage cause by unexpected visitors to your home. If you think you detect the smell of burning wires, or can’t find the source of your flickering lights, then it’s best to call for a professional inspection before anything happens. One lest method to keep out pests is to make their favorite nests inhospitable. A dehumidifier placed in the attic, basement, and crawl spaces will make each of these places less desirable while also making them less hospital to mold growth.
Visit us on our website, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ or give us a call at (302) 368-3848 for more information on maintaining a Green home. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions you might have.