While the weather cools off, most outdoor pests are looking for a warm spot to spend the winter. Your home is an inviting target. If you want to keep the pests out of your home this fall and winter, try some (or all) of these prevention tips:

Begin with a thorough examination of the outside of your home.

  • Identify all openings, such as where wires or utilities enter your home, dryer vents, etc. Most insects and rodents can enter your home through cracks of ¼ inch or smaller. Use caulk, expandable foam, or other approved sealers to eliminate the openings.
  • Trim back bushes and trees so they are not touching your home.
  • If you have a chimney, do you have a chimney cap? If not, we recommend having one professionally installed. This will discourage birds, bats, squirrels, and other pests in search of warmth from setting up nests in your chimney.
  • If you have a basement, check your foundation area for any cracked cement, mortar, or weather stripping. Repair and replace as needed.
  • Keep wood piles 25 feet or more away from your house. Don’t stack wood right outside the door, though it’s tempting to do so! A wide variety of bugs find wood piles an attractive place to hide, especially spiders. You may want to take care to wear gloves when you fetch wood from the pile.
  • Examine window screens for any holes or tears. Repair and replace any damaged screens, especially if you’d like to have your windows open in the fall.
  • In the Southeast U.S., mosquitoes and fleas remain active until the first hard freeze. Take precautions outside, especially with kids and pets. Fall is not the time to discontinue flea and tick medications for pets, unless you want your pet and home infested.

Things to check inside your home:

  • It’s super important to check all around your windows and doors to the exterior of your home. If you aren’t sure whether they are properly sealed, place your hand near each window and door on a windy day to detect drafts. Repair and replace old caulk or weather stripping. Put a rubber seal strip under doors that lead to the exterior of your home.
  • Cockroaches remain extremely active in the fall, so continue with your routine spraying or other control measures. Be diligent about cleaning up food, crumbs, spills, and dishes to discourage cockroaches.

An added benefit of properly sealing your home is that it will be much more energy efficient. You should notice lower energy bills and fewer pests, a win-win! If the pests still find their way into your home this fall despite your best efforts, a professional pest control company is your best move. In the Triangle area of North Carolina, call ProForce Pest Control at 919-776-3672 .  We can tackle any pest control issues in homes and businesses!

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