We are weeks away from fall, but the smell of pumpkin spice fills the air. Humans aren’t the only ones that sense a change in the atmosphere. Insects and rodents also take notice, and their instincts kick in. Around this time of year, overwintering insects and other pests can find their way into your home if it isn’t properly protected.
When the cold temperatures arrive, your home will start to look attractive to fall pests. One way is to make sure you don’t leave out food like chips or cereal that pests can smell. Keep your home clean by vacuuming once a week and keeping trash bins covered.
Pests can gain entry into your home through the smallest of cracks. To effectively keep pests out of your home this winter, it’s important to seal off any place that they can enter through.
Mice, rats, and squirrels are extremely good at squeezing through tiny spaces. A good rule of thumb to consider is to close off any opening larger than one-fourth of an inch.
If you use wood to heat your home in the winter, you most likely have a nearby woodpile. Firewood is a go-to overwintering spot for a number of pests, including mice and rats. Leaving firewood too close to your home can make it easier for these pests to get inside. A good way to dissuade them from making a home in your firewood is to elevate it at least eighteen inches off the ground and keep it at least twenty feet away from your house. Even following these guidelines, pests will inevitably find their way into your firewood, which is why you should only bring wood into the home that you intend to put in the fire immediately.
Putting a brush strip on your exterior doors is not only a great way to save money on heat this winter, but it also makes sure gaps are sealed to prevent pests from getting in. These strips can be found at any hardware or home improvement store and are easy to install with either adhesive strips or screws.
As fall approaches, these are the most common pests to be on the lookout for as they actively search out warm places to spend the winter.
Rats, mice, and squirrels are warm-blooded mammals and need to stay warm through the winter. They can do this easily inside a tree or under the ground but a warm home with a crackling fire is far too tempting to resist.
Boxelder bugs have become a sign of fall as they start to congregate around windows and doors in the early fall. As temperatures drop, boxelder bugs will move out of their summer homes in boxelder trees and look for a place to overwinter. Unfortunately, their long, narrow bodies make it particularly easy for them to sneak into our homes.
The multicolored Asian lady beetle is another widespread fall pest that is not to be confused with the gentle ladybug. These beetles are often seen in the fall on the sunny sides of buildings plotting their invasion into homes. Once inside, they can get into your walls and vents where they will remain until spring or pop up randomly throughout the winter as the warmth of your home prompts them to re-emerge. Asian lady beetles emit a foul odor when killed, so instead of squashing them, the preferred method is a vacuum cleaner.
At the end of summer, you will find stink bugs congregated under your pumpkins and watermelons and on the underside of leaves. Once they have finished feeding on your fruits and vegetables, they will set their sights on your house to seek a warm place to spend the winter. Stink bugs, as their name implies, also produce a foul stench when killed. Use the vacuum method to dispose of them and empty the bag in the outside garbage.
If you want to make sure your home is protected from pests this year, then call the pros at TruGreen Midsouth. We offer a comprehensive pest control program designed to keep your home and family safe year-round.
If you are in Mississippi, call us at 662-330-1330. If you are in Louisiana, call us at 225-465-0665, or get a free and easy quote. Get access to all our tips on pest control, lawn care, tree care, and more by following our monthly blog. Check us out on Facebook for the latest TruGreen deals and news in your area.