Home Improvement

Preparing the Home for Fall: Simple Pest Control for Homeowners

As summer turns to autumn, the dropping temperatures often cause outdoor pests to seek warmer weather in homes and storage areas. Without taking the proper preventative measures, homeowners can find themselves entrenched in a battle with termites, ants, beetles, and other pesky bugs. Thankfully, the following pest control tips can make pest management less of a hassle.

Yard and Garden Maintenance

Insects are typically found in abundance in grass, trees, and gardens. When grass and gardens begin to die in cold weather, insects naturally look for a safe haven in homes, garages, and other temperature-controlled areas. To cut down on pest populations before bugs begin to make their way indoors, make maintenance a top priority. Grass should be trimmed regularly and gardens should be kept free of weeds and overgrowth. Trim tree limbs annually, and remove any dead or dying trees as quickly as possible. If bugs in outdoor areas become a major concern, consider calling an exterminator or using an insecticide.

Home Maintenance

There are many ways homeowners can safeguard their homes against bugs and other pests. By making the following repairs and adjustments, indoor pest infestations are easily preventable:

  • Install or Repair Door and Window Screens
    Spiders and other insects are commonly found in door jambs and window sills. To keep these pests out of your home, make sure all door and window screens are in good repair. Chimneys and air vents may also require screens, as well as any other open areas.

  • Attach Door Sweeps
    Door sweeps are small pieces of plastic that are attached to bottom of doors. These devices keep pests from entering the home in the small crack between the door and doorjamb.
  • Seal Cracks and Holes
    Even the tiniest cracks or holes can lead to infestations. Repair all cracks with sealant, and replace any cracked or broken windows immediately.
  • Keep Storage Areas Neat and Tidy
    Insects are known to gather and nest in both indoor and outdoor storage areas. To prevent this, clean these areas thoroughly. Keep storage space dry and tidy, and eliminate as much clutter as possible. Since bugs tend to nest in low-traffic areas, rearrange storage bins and boxes regularly, and sweep and dust as often as you can.

  • Keep Roof in Good Repair
    Missing or torn shingles can be an entrance point for all sorts of pests. At the end of summer, examine your roof and replace any shingles in ill-repair.
  • Keep Trash and Recycle Bins Clean
    Areas for trash and recyclables are popular among insects. To keep bugs away, spray out trash and recycle bins between uses, and make sure bags are tied tightly and not open or torn. Rinse cans, bottles, and containers before recycling, as sugar and food scraps can attract bugs of all species.
  • Keep Gutters free of Debris
    Insects are known to gather in the leaves, dirt, and branches that are commonly found in gutters. Regular cleanings can help cut down on insects, as well as unwanted moisture, in gutters.
  • Check for Insects Regularly
    One major aspect of pest control is awareness. Many people aren’t aware of an insect problem until it’s too late. Regular home inspections can help homeowners find and eliminate the problem before it becomes overwhelming.

It’s extremely important to safeguard against insect infestations before the onset of cooler autumn weather. These simple pest management techniques can help keep pests out of the home, and will eliminate the stress infestations. For potentially dangerous infestations, such as those of poisonous spiders, an exterminator should be contacted immediately.

Rose McMillan is a retired pest control professional who has worked at multiple pest control companies, such as the likes of Terminix. She now pursues a career in freelance writing and enjoying the outdoors.

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Christine is the Content Marketing Coordinator for Homes.com. She's a small town girl at heart, who currently lives in Norfolk, VA with her husband and their fur baby. When she's not working, she enjoys cooking, decorating, traveling, and binge watching Netflix. As a proud Virginia Tech alum, she also loves cheering on the Hokies!