Fall is a magical time of year. This is the when the lush verdant scenery changes to the beautiful colors are of Autumn. Reds and oranges and the brightest of yellows will be seen, well.. at least for us in the Northeast.
Pests like it too or it seems that way when they start to get a bit too friendly around our homes. This is the time of year when pests will seek out refuge for the hard winter ahead. They will find any place they think they will survive the cold temperatures. Often times this is your attic, your bonus room, the basement and everywhere in between. They will find the smallest of cracks to sneak their way inside. Around windows, gable vents and sill plates give them all the access they need.
Some types of insects seem to be more determined than others when it comes to invading your domicile. For example, lady beetles aka ladybugs can come in by the hundreds in some occasions. Ok, but what can be done about it? Glad you asked… sometimes a lot, sometimes very little.
Overwintering pests, as we like to call them, can be very difficult to prevent. A good place to start is to make sure all your windows have screens on them and are in good working order. Replace the screens if there are tears or holes in them. Next, check around the outside of the windows to see if there are any gaps around the window frame. This would be a good time to mention to hire a professional if your are not comfortable on ladders or heights. Safety first, always. Use caulk around windows and other small gaps you find outside the home, be sure to use a product that is rated for exterior use and to pick a color that will dry how you would like it…or get the type that can be painted. Clear caulk is also an option.
Another hot spot I find often is the gable vents. Commonly, this is a giant open door for pests. Not just insects but rodents too. Even wildlife will exploit these areas. Yeah…but what is a gable vent?? Most homes have these…but not all and if you don’t have one you probably should have one installed. These are large louver vents high up on the sides of the house on either or both sides of the home. Gable vents allow heat and humidity to vent out of the space. These vents go directly into the attic or crawlspace. I use the word crawlspace loosely here because when I find a gable vent to an attic space that has no interior access it’s usually way too small for me to actually crawl into. These are a nightmare for a variety of reasons, but that’s for another post. Back to gable vents, these should have two pieces to them. The first is the exterior rigid vent itself. The second is a thin insect screen installed on the inside to prevent…you guessed it, insects from getting inside the attic space. These screens are very often in disrepair and will fail over time allowing the gable vent to become a beacon of hope for excited overwintering pests. Check these vents to see if they have the proper screening from the inside. Check to see if it is in good working order or needs to be replaced. Again, safety first…attics can be very dangerous. Hire a professional if you are uncomfortable in attics.
Of course this just a condensed version of the things a pest professional will look for when servicing your home or business. Our main focus is inspection. Then comes control…if needed. Through our inspections we find many things and not all of them have to do with pest control. Thorough inspections of your home on a regular basis will ensure smooth and safe operation. Operation? Really? Yeah…keeping a well maintained structure is work. Hire a pro!