Pests come indoors because they are looking for shelter, food, water, places to nest and cache food, and yes, even a date. Besides the ick factor, these unwanted guests can cause health problems for you and your family, as well as cause damage to your home. Fur, dander and saliva from mice and rats are common triggers of allergies and asthma. Feces and guano from rodents, bats and birds can harbor bacteria and airborne pathogens. Unwanted animals can damage woodwork, plastic and other materials. They can chew holes in your walls as well as your electrical wires, increasing the risk of system failure and fires. And they can seriously soil your home’s insulation in areas that you cannot easily see or reach.
Tips to Keep Pests Out of Your Home
What to do outdoors:
- Put a 12-24” strip of non-woody mulch (such as crushed rock) adjacent to your foundation.
- Trim any leafy plants, including trees, away from your foundation, walls and roof.
- Stuff cracks and possible entry points with copper mesh, then seal them with silicone caulk or spray foam.
- Clean out gutters regularly and drain any standing water away from the home.
- Install screens on your windows and over your chimney top.
- Move bird feeding stations at least 20 feet away from the house and clean up uneaten bird seed and shells scattered on the ground.
What to do indoors:
- Keep your home clean and dry. Clean up water spills, crumbs, and leftovers from kitchen countertops and storage shelves daily, and store foodstuffs in containers with lids and in closeable cabinets that you regularly inspect and clean.
- Remove trash as soon as the bag gets full. Place it in a sealed container (trash can or bin with a lid) outside your home.
- Regularly clean pet food bowls.
- Repair any leaky faucets or pipes.
- Inspect your home from the attic to the basement, looking for rodent droppings around baseboards, food storage and under sinks.