It is very common for people to be aggressive about pest control during Spring and Summer. The warm weather is perfect for insect and pest populations to multiply. Add to the fact that people have a tendency to spend more time outdoors, making pests of all types more noticeable, and it is easy to understand the high demand for pest control services.
However, many people do not realize that Fall is probably the most important time of year to seek out professional pest control services. As you prepare your home for winter, it is important that you also prepare it for fall pest control.
Why It’s Still Important in Fall
The cooler weather in fall is a welcome event for many people. Rodents, however, view this as a signal to find warmer shelter and to bed down for the winter. Mice and rats will begin heading indoors when the weather begins to change to ensure that they can continue breeding in a safe and warm environment.
Other pests are also heading indoors. Ants and spiders are looking for safe places to live and keep warm and a more abundant food supply. The ants will head indoors for the food, they sometimes move their colonies into the walls of your house underneath a slab foundation to escape the cold. The spiders will then follow the ants. Cockroaches are also heading indoors at this time of year to find warm, moist places to breed and food to eat. Even if you have not seen a cockroach during the summer, you may still have an invasion of them in fall and winter. The moisture below your house can draw them in.
It is also very common for worker bees to be out in swarms during the fall weather. While the cold weather will eventually kill these bees off, the workers are scrambling for food to fill the hive and to find safe places for their queen. Worker bees will move their queen into a warmer area if necessary, which often means places in your attic, porch, or shed areas.
What Attracts Pests During Fall
There are two specific things that will attract pests to your home during the fall season: warmth and a food source. Rodent or insect, these creatures are looking for a way to survive the cold weather. Availability of either of these or both will make your home a target for an infestation during fall.
Tips To Avoid Fall Pest Infestations
There are several steps that you can take that will help ward off unwanted pests. Most of these tips are easy to complete, inexpensive, and provide you with additional benefits.
Repair holes or gaps around outdoor pipes and utility entrances to your home. Cover the dryer vent with mesh as well as your chimney and any vents. Check for any holes that are the size of a dime or bigger. A rat can get through an opening as small as a quarter, and a mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime. Making these repairs will also help prevent other unwanted pests from entering your home and help keep the heat indoors.
- Repair screens and use a door sweep on exterior doors. Not only will this help prevent pests from entering, it can also help reduce the amount of dust that enters into your home.
- Remove dead plants and trim shrubbery. Dead and decaying plants attract many different pests. You should make sure that all dead plants are removed from around your home and make sure that all shrubbery is trimmed. Shrubs or plants that touch the house allow insects to have a “bridge” from the plant to your home. For best results, make sure that plants are cut back at least 2 feet from your home.
- Replace weather stripping. By replacing weather stripping you are not allowing warm air to seep out of the home and attract pests. This will also be very beneficial to your heating and cooling bills throughout the year.
- Make sure that all trash that is taken out is placed in a sealed container. Avoid piling up any type of debris outside or around your home. Newspapers and other paper recyclable goods should be quickly recycled or disposed of properly because they are a leading attractant of rats, ants, and other bugs.
- Always keep countertops clean and everything in your pantry stored in sealed containers. You would be truly amazed at how little it takes for a pest to smell food and search for it.
- Store firewood away from the house. Wood piles are a leading attractant for mice, rats, spiders, scorpions, and ants. Wood provides a very comfortable shelter for these critters and the decaying wood also provides a food source for many insects.
- Avoid leaving pet food dishes outside, including water bowls. Only place these items outside when the pets are there and bring them in when you bring in your pet. Rodents and insects will eat dog and cat food and every living thing need water.
- Install proper drainage around your home. When water pools around your home it not only creates a moist environment prime for insects to live in, it can also cause damage to the foundation of your home.
- Check fall decorations before bringing them into your home. Hay bales, scarecrows and similar type of decorations are all great places for insects to hide. Additionally, products that light up will generate heat and attract pests.
In addition to taking these preventative maintenance measures, it is important to continue with or seek out, professional pest control services to keep your home free from pests. Professional treatments help ensure that these annoying, disease-carrying pests stay out of your home.
For the most effective way to combat pest problems, use year-round pest control service along with good home maintenance.