Here in the Southeast, we’re closing in on cooler weather and anticipating fall treats and cozy nights with our families! However, pests are searching for a warm place inside, too. If given the chance, they’ll make your home their winter hideaway until they can go outdoors again. When the temperature drops, rodents, cockroaches and spiders are just some of the likely culprits that will look for a way to enter. Every fall, pests and rodents go into survival mode. Unfortunately, our homes are often their top choice for a winter retreat as they provide a warm shelter and easy access to food and water. Take a look at these potential fall pests and what you can do to prevent them!

Rodents

Mice can squeeze into your home through holes the size of a dime.

According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), an average of 21 million homes are invaded by rodents every winter. Rodents are known to spread diseases such as salmonella and hantavirus, and also to carry diseased parasites such as fleas, ticks, and lice! Rodents can also cause structural damage by chewing through electrical wires and insulation. In some cases, the chewed wires were even responsible for house fires! Signs of these pests include gnaw marks, droppings, and oily residue from their bodies along baseboards or inside cabinets.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches prefer dark, moist, and warm spaces.

Cockroaches will eat just about anything. They prefer dark, moist, and warm spaces such as crawlspaces or beneath refrigerators and sinks, but it is unusual for you to see these pests during the day. Cockroaches are mostly nocturnal, and it will be easier to spot signs of the pest versus seeing the actual pest. Signs of a cockroach infestation include shed skins, an unpleasant odor, and droppings. Though you cannot keep a clean enough home to keep cockroaches at bay, there are some ways to prevent an infestation featured below.

Spiders

Spiders like undisturbed spaces, so frequent dusting helps keep them away.

Spiders prefer spaces that are dark and undisturbed. Prime places for spider hideouts include attics, basements, or any other place where clutter is undisturbed for long periods of time. They also like to seek shelter in leaf piles, wood piles and rock piles. In the US, there are not a lot of spiders to be worried about. However, homeowners should be wary of black widows and brown recluse spiders. Typically, a spider bite will only result in a itchy bump similar to that of a mosquito bite, but there is always the possibility of an allergic reaction. If you are bitten by a spider and experience any unusual symptoms, seek medical attention right away!

Fall Prevention Tips

Keeping a tidy home helps prevent a myriad of pests!

Kitchen

Keep food in tightly sealed plastic containers. This prevents cockroaches and rodents from getting to a food source. Wipe down counters with an antibacterial cleaner to keep crumbs and food debris off the counter and also to cut down on the possibility of spreading diseases.

Outdoors

Pests like the same type of environment outside as they do inside. Keeping a clutter free outdoor area is crucial to keeping a pest free yard. Clear out the piles of branches and rocks, and clean outdoor furniture frequently. If you have a wood pile for a fireplace, keep it at least twenty feet away from your home and six inches off the ground to avoid termites.

Home

Like the kitchen, the rest of your home should also be kept tidy. By keeping a clutter-free home, you decrease the potential hiding places for these pests. Another thing you should do in regards to your home is inspect the perimeter. During this inspection, take note of cracks in foundations, openings around utility pipes, holes in window screens, and missing door sweeps. Make sure you remedy these issues in order to keep pests out. Mice can squeeze through holes the size of a dime and rats can wriggle in through holes the size of a nickel! So no hole is too small to patch!

Although these prevention tips are a great start to keeping your home pest free, you still may need the help of a professional exterminator. He may be able to spot problem areas you can’t. He’ll also deal with the pests that do get in despite your prevention efforts. Call Gregory today to ask about a course of action for your own pest protection plan!