Pest Prevention

Here are some general tips to prevent household pests and rodents from entering your home:

  • Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home including entry points for utilities and pipes.
  • Keep tree branches and shrubbery well trimmed and away from the house.
  • Keep basements, attics, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  • Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
  • Repair fascia and rotted roof shingles; some insects are drawn to deteriorating wood.
  • Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
  • Store fire wood at least 20 feet away from the house and five inches off the ground.
  • Call a qualified pest professional for additional advice and treatment if necessary.

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Outdoor Tasks

  • Take time to inspect the outside of the home for easy access points, paying special attention to areas where utility pipes enter. Seal any small cracks and crevices with a silicone-based caulk. Use steel wool to fill larger gaps and holes, as pests are often deterred away from the roughness of the steel fibers.
  • Keep an eye out for signs of termite damage, such as mud tubes, soft wood that sounds hollow when tapped, and cracked or bubbling paint.
  • Properly landscape by keeping the grass cut low and ensuring tree branches, shrubbery and other vegetation is well trimmed and away from the house.
  • Clean out leaves and other debris from the gutters to prevent standing water, which can provide the perfect breeding ground for pests.
  • Repair fascia and rotted roof shingles; some insects are drawn to deteriorating wood.
  • Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
  • Screen windows, attic vents and openings to chimneys. Repair any rips or tears.
  • Direct water away from the house through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks. Repair leaking faucets, water pipes and AC units.
  • Store fire wood at least 20 feet away from the house.
  • Keep mulch at least 15 feet away from the foundation.

Indoor Tasks

  • Dispose of garbage regularly in a sealed trash bin.
  • Keep kitchens clean by wiping down counter tops and sweeping floors to remove crumbs and residue from spills. Also, store food in sealed containers, and keep ripe fruit in the refrigerator.
  • Vacuum at least once a week.
  • Keep pet bowls clean and wipe up any spilled food or water around them promptly. Store dry pet food in a sealed plastic container rather than the paper bags they often come in.
  • Consult your vet about a preventative treatment for dogs and cats to help ward off fleas and ticks.
  • Routinely check under sinks for areas of moisture and repair any leaky pipes. Consider using a dehumidifier in damp basements, crawl spaces or attics.

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