When the weather heats up, so does pest activity. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure that your home is protected against unwanted invaders. Here’s a quick rundown of where to look—and what to do — to keep crawling critters away from your living space.
The top of your home is particularly vulnerable to flying pests and animals that reside in trees above. Check for any holes, leaks and loose shingles, and patch up any open spaces that may provide an easy entrance.
Many homeowners leave their attic unchecked for weeks, months or even years at a time, but as spring begins, it’s important to give this section of your home a thorough look. Pests like mice, squirrels, raccoons, wasps, hornets and others may take up residence here. Make sure every possible access point is sealed to fortify this area against these kinds of threats. You’ll also want to find and remove any existing pests in the attic before sealing it shut.
Don’t let pests get warm and cozy. Be sure to inspect and clean your bedding and furniture/accessories regularly and look for any shed skin, eggs or fecal stains. This section of your home is at high risk for bed bugs, which can reproduce rapidly and produce blood-sucking babies that make for irritating guests in the middle of the night. Make sure every possible access point is sealed to fortify this area against these kinds of threats.
Walls & Baseboards
Look around your home for moisture damage, mud-tubes, holes, tunnels, cracks or damages or chiseling marks (gnaw) in wall or along baseboard, as these are prime signs of rats, mice, termites, ants and other pests. Then make sure to repair or cover any gaps you find. Make sure to use pest resistant repair/sealing materials.
Fleas, carpet beetles, mites and a host of other pests would love to make themselves at home in the plush oasis that is your home’s carpet. Ensure that you’re vacuuming regularly and inspecting all floors for skins, droppings, eggs and other signs of bug or rodent activity.
Since it’s at or below ground level, the basement of your home is an easy target for pests. This is especially true if your basement is used as a storage area, as cluttered or crowded spaces serve as ideal cover for pests to hide and reproduce. It’s a good idea to have a “spring cleaning” session for your basement prior to the beginning of the season, as this will help reduce the likelihood of pests stowing away in corners and around loose items or boxes. Keep an eye out for spiders in the meantime, noting the locations of any webs, as this can also indicate the presence of their prey (insects) nearby.
Windows and Doors
Investigate the windows around your home for any cracks, crevices or openings that might provide opportunities for pests to slither inside. Consider using sealant around windowpanes that have been damaged by cold and wet winter weather. Repair/ seal damaged or worn-out doors seals or screens.
Need a quick reference guide for all of this? You can also download our expert tip sheet here.
Reviewed by Alice Sinia, Ph.D., MSc on May 10 2020.
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