Image Courtesy of Marcus Balcher
Intro by Adam
We are pleased to bring you an exclusive post by our friend Robin Mountjoy, General Manager and President of Connor’s Termite and Pest Control. Robin is not only an experienced executive, but a wonderful woman. In fact, we made sure we spotlighted Robin in our recent page featuring Women in Pest Control. ‘Collaboration’ is not a word you hear often in the pest control industry, but we certainly enjoy sharing helpful info with and from our friends.
Robin shares five excellent tips to follow as the seasons begin to change. With stink bug prevention on my mind this time of year, I especially like tip two. Save yourself a serious hassle over the next few months by following her advice. Thanks for joining us, Robin!
Ahhhh, the air is crisp and the leaves on the trees are starting to turn. It’s time to pull those sweaters and flannels out of storage and head to your local café for a pumpkin spice latte. Fall is finally here.
But with fall comes many an unwanted visitors. As the temperature begins to cool down, critters and insects seek warmth and start to invade homes and buildings. That’s why it’s imperative to take precautionary measures this time of year. This starts with sealing off entry points on your home’s exterior, but there are many other tactics you can employ to prevent these cold-weather squatters from spending the winter in your home.
Check out our list of do-it-yourself pest control strategies that you should implement this fall:
1) Assess your Home’s Exterior
The easiest way for pests to gain access to your home is through small cracks in your exterior walls. Most rodents are incredibly flexible and can bend their bodies to fit through tight spaces. In fact, mice can squeeze through dime-shaped holes, while raccoons and similarly sized pests can fit through six-inch-wide openings.
To combat these invasions, check your exterior walls for light or air flow coming through cracks. Patching holes and installing crawl space barriers in homes with crawl spaces, should keep unwanted pests at bay, and also offer the added benefit of conserving energy. If your exterior is weather-conditioned and sealed against the elements, pests will have a difficult time getting inside.
2) Check Doors and Windows
Perhaps a cool breeze flowing through your home is what you crave after a long summer. However, if you’re the type to leave doors and windows open in your home, you should install screens or inspect existing screens for tears. Pests—and especially insects—can attack your home by bypassing faulty screens. Simply addressing these damaged screens could be a game-changer in your pest control battle.
It’s also important to seal cracks around windows and door frames with caulk or foam. Weather stripping and door sweeps – the broom-like attachments on the bottoms of doors – can help seal the moving parts of your door and prevent pests from getting inside.
3) Maintain your Yard
Aside from jealous looks from your neighbors, a well-manicured lawn also helps keep pests away from your home. Anytime that yard debris—including twigs, branches, and leaves—piles up near your home or grass grows too long, insects and rodents abound. Trimmed grass, pulled weeds, and minimal yard debris will help keep your pest population under control.
Another thing to remember is that when plants and shrubs are planted too close to homes, pests have a much easier time making the most of their opportunities to dart through open windows and doors. It makes a big difference if your yard plants are at least two feet away from the house.
Image Courtesy of Karen Roe
4) Inspect your Appliances
If you’ve recently had a new dishwasher, washing machine, or another large appliance installed or repaired, it’s a good idea to check for unsealed spots. Whenever an appliance is repaired or installed, and especially when plumbing or electrical work is involved, double-check to ensure that your home isn’t left with holes where pests can sneak through. Remember that mice can fit through dime-size holes, and no hole is too small to patch or seal.
5) Keep an Eye on the Enemy
The best approach to battling pests is a proactive one, so set traps in pest-prone areas like attics and kitchens. Glue traps are a good option since they can catch insects and wildlife alike, allowing you to easily figure out which type of pest you’re dealing with. You’ll then be able to decide next steps.
If you’re feeling extra high-tech, other options include infrared sensors, motion detectors, and video surveillance. These can help you detect nocturnal pests on your property and insects in your home that may be hard to spot.
Contact a Professional
Get a head start on fighting back against the region’s pest invaders this fall with the five tips outlined above. If it’s an infestation that you can treat with over-the-counter products or do-it-yourself techniques, then that’s the best course of action. However, sometimes it’s best to recognize when you should leave the pests to the pros.
Robin Mountjoy is the General Manager and President of Connor’s Termite & Pest Control. In addition, she is an active member of the National Pest Management Association, Virginia Pest Management Association and Northern Virginia Pest Management Association. With over 25 years of experience in the pest control industry, Robin frequently contributes to the Connor’s blog, where she shares her extensive knowledge and expertise.
Posted in: Preventing Pests