Below are ten pest-proofing tips from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) that every homeowner can follow to keep pests outside during the fall and winter.
Screen attic vents and openings to chimneys, and any other areas where homes may be open to the outdoors (like animal doors and mail slots)
Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry. Pests are attracted to areas of moisture, something they need to survive.
Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home. Pay close attention to where pips enter the structure.
Keep kitchen counters clean, store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly. Crumbs and buildup of garbage are attractive to pests scrounging for food.
Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around the foundation and windows. These are easy ways to keep not only pests, but also cold air out of the house.
Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep shrubbery trimmed. Removing areas where pests can hide near your home can reduce the chance of them finding a way inside.
Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens.
Inspect items such as boxes of decorations, package deliveries and bags before bringing them indoors. Shake out or inspect anything that has been left or stored outside.
Avoid leaving pets’ food dishes out for long periods of time. Pests don’t discriminate between people food and cat food. Pet dishes that have been left sitting out are enticing for all kinds of insects and rodents.
Have a proper outdoor drainage system. Installing gutters or repairing an existing system will help draw water and moisture away from your home, preventing any leaks or build up that might attract pests.