Whether the invaders are as small as an ant or as big as a family of skunks, your best defense against pests is sealing off their entry points into your fortress. |
A mouse can sneak in through a hole no bigger than a dime, while a raccoon-size creature can enter through a 6-inch opening. When examining your home's exterior walls, experts say to look for light coming through cracks. Your house should be sealed against the elements anyway,Also, feel for air movement, which can sometimes point you to a crack you can't see
Focus on Windows and Doors
These are the most likely entry points for pests. If you plan on ever leaving your windows or doors open, you should fit them with screens, or check the existing screens for tears. Seal any cracks around windows and door frames with inexpensive caulk or foam. Weatherstripping and door sweeps can seal the moving parts of the door, so make sure it's in good condition.
Put Screens on Vents
Not every hole should be plugged up. Some are there for a reason, such as the air vents in the kitchen or under the cupboards. Hallman says. If holes are meant to be there, they'll be pretty obvious, he says. "They'll be spaced periodically, maybe every foot or two." Place screens over them to keep critters out.
Holes made during installations or repairs don't get sealed up. "The assumption is that if the homeowner doesn't see it, it isn't a problem," he says. Dishwasher and washing machine installations are frequent offenders, so it's worth it to pull yours out and check for unsealed spots. Anytime you have plumbing or electrical work done, double-check the job to make sure you aren't left with holes through which pests can enter.
Control Your Garden
Plants close to the house provide a haven for insects and rodents as they await their chance to dart through an open door. Keep plants 1 to 2 feet away from the house, weeds trimmed to a minimum, and don't let junk collect near the house, Outdoor pest control is also important
Clean the floor daily. Whether you choose to sweep or vacuum, clean the floor daily. Food and residue need to be removed quickly so that bugs won't be attracted to the mess. Missing a day may be just enough to attract some unwanted visitors to an unintended feast
Tackle spills quickly. Just as your messy floor can become an invitation to pests, spilled areas throughout the kitchen can beckon to bugs. Be sure to move furniture and appliances to be sure all the residue of a spill has been cleaned..
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