Come winter time, everyone heads indoors to enjoy the warmth of their fireplaces and cups of hot chocolate. However, mother nature’s creatures often follows us in, taking advantage of the comfortable homes we’ve built for our families to provide a comfortable home for themselves. This is undesirable for a number of reasons, the biggest being that many animals are also disease carriers, so here are some tips you can use to keep animals out of your home.
1. Plastic containers are your friends – If you’ve got food or other edible objects lying around your house, take them out of whatever cardboard or paper containers they came in, and store them in plastic ones instead. Plastic is not only tougher for to chew through and live in, but the right kinds (like the airtight ones) will also help your foods retain their freshness for longer periods of time.
2. Seal your garbage cans – Garbage cans and bags are treasure troves for animals like the raccoon and rats, who often tear into piles of garbage left outside to pick at the scraps of food. Discourage such behavior by storing your garbage in strong, air tight plastic garbage bags (do yourself a favor and avoid the cheap ones), and keep the bags themselves in sealed garbage cans that aren’t top-heavy so they can’t be easily knocked over and torn apart.
3. Mesh screens – If you live in a home that uses mesh screens on windows and doors, ensure that they’re structurally sound and well maintained, meaning, no holes, tears, or gaps. This will prevent pests from crawling into your home through the windows, while ensuring that your home can get some ventilation when its needed.
4. Close up wall cracks – We’ve mentioned this in our other posts, but it’s important enough to bear repeating: seal up any cracks, gaps, or holes in the walls outside your house. Even holes as small as a quarter are big enough for mice to get through, and more than big enough to allow insects like roaches and termites to get in. You can seal small cracks with caulk purchased from your local hardware store, but for larger ones you should get a contractor to assess and repair the damage.
5. Keep your house clean – Cluttered homes are the perfect homes for pests. The more furniture, junk, and trash, and other assorted goods just laying around your house, the more hiding spaces for bugs and small animals there are. Keeping things neat not only improves the look and feel of your home, but also serves to reduce the number of potential hiding spots, forcing pests to look elsewhere for lodging.
6. Keep your yard clean – Keeping your front and back yard clean helps ward off pests for many of the same reasons as number 5 does: bushes and trees growing near your home provide easy access for climbers like mice or raccoons, and piles of leaves left over from the fall season provide the perfect place for a den or burrow.
7. Call a professional – If you’re still having problems despite following the above steps, don’t hesitate give your local pest control professional a call for assistance.
The best thing about these tips is that they work all year round, not just winter, and they’re quite easy to follow. If done correctly, you’ll never have a problem with pests.