How To Pest Proof Your Home
December 15, 2021
By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS
Learning how to pest-proof your home is an important first step in preventative pest maintenance. Pests hold their place in nature, but you may not want them to have a place in your home. This article will go through some of the best pest-proofing tips to help you keep flying insects, bugs, and rodents out.
Sealing a house from insects and arachnids
Insects and arachnids can find lots of ways into your home you may not think they could squeeze through. Sometimes even the tiniest of cracks, gaps, or holes are enough to let insects get inside where they can breed, potentially causing an infestation that becomes hard to eliminate without professional help.
Be proactive with pest prevention and learn how to bug-proof your home by taking the following actions.
Seal doors and windows
Cracks alongside the frames of windows and doors are the perfect entry point for many pests to sneak into your home. Examine the exterior of your home and inspect the frames around each door and window for cracks. Seal off any cracks with caulk and other adhesive seals like weatherstripping to prevent pests from gaining easy access.
Check your front door from the inside. If you can see the light or feel air coming through, bugs can likely enter your home. Many pests can get into your home by exploiting gaps under your doors, so installing sweeps under your doors is recommended. Installing larger seals or adding seals if none are present will also help keep insects out.
Flies, mosquitoes, and bees can access your home through open doors and windows, but they’ll also find ways in through small holes in your window or door screens. Take a careful look at all of your screens and repair or replace the ones that aren’t secure or taut. If your home lacks storm doors or screen doors, consider installing them to add an extra layer of protection.
Check your foundation
Tiny bugs like ants and cockroaches can easily fit through cracks in your home’s concrete foundation. Fill in any gaps you see with a caulk filler. If your foundation has bricks and you see cracks in the joints, use mortar to fill them in or call a service provider to get them sealed.
How to rodent-proof your home
Rodents like mice and rats can damage your home and even spread diseases. The suggestions outlined above are effective in helping prevent rodents from entering your home, but you can also take more steps to keep them at bay.
If you keep bird feeders on your property, place them as far away from the house as possible, as rodents are attracted to bird food. If the feeders are close enough to the home, they may be encouraged to find a way inside for shelter and more food sources. You should also keep all outdoor trash bins securely latched or use bungee cords or heavy rocks on the lids to keep rodents from opening them, as consistent food sources can draw crowds of rodents to your property and eventually into your home.
Clean up your landscaping
Inspect trees around your property and trim the branches back from your home, as some rodents can use the branches to access your roof and burrow inside into your attic.
How to pest-proof your apartment
Pest-proofing an apartment is a bit different than a house. In apartment buildings, pests can come into your unit from neighboring apartments or community rooms you have no control over. An apartment complex also has multiple entrances that insects and rodents can use to get inside. You can’t keep all these other spaces clean, sealed off, or less attractive to pests, but you can keep your apartment less welcoming to insects and rodents.
Pest-proof your apartment by filling cracks in window and door frames, sealing doorways with weatherstripping, and repairing holes in window screens. Keep your apartment sparkling clean, and eliminate any unnecessary clutter in rooms where pests such as cockroaches can hide. Vacuum floors regularly and keep surfaces dry, as insects often prefer damp areas.
If you love having plants in your apartment, check them carefully for insects and spiders before bringing them in. Also, research your plants so you don’t choose types that attract pests from other areas of the building into your home.
Keep things clean
Pests are frequently drawn to trash and messes in kitchens. Make sure to clean your garbage cans regularly, take out the trash, wipe down your counters, and keep food sealed. Standing water and crumbs on the floor create the perfect environment for an infestation.
Regularly clean your sheets and clothing to eliminate dust or bacteria that could attract pests like bed bugs. Sweeping and vacuuming regularly will also help remove pests embedded in your carpet or hiding in corners and under cabinet overhangs.
Inspect your pipes
Pests are drawn to moist and humid environments. Check the pipes under your sink, in your basement, and near your washing machine, and seal leaks to prevent moisture build-up. Keep your home well-ventilated and consider buying a dehumidifier for rooms with humidity issues.
The pipes outside that come into your home to provide water and gas can also function as a gateway for pests. Check the outside of the house where the piping comes in and seal off any gaps with caulk.
Check outdoor vents
The venting for your bathroom or kitchen exhaust fans that lead to the outside can provide entry points for some pests, along with the ceiling and floor vents for your air conditioning unit. Although you can’t seal these openings, consider installing mesh screening under the vent covers by caulking the perimeter of the vent cover and attaching the screen to it.
It can be easy to let clutter build up in spare rooms or attics, but you should do your best to keep these areas as clean and free of clutter as possible to discourage pests. Take time to organize boxes and throw out any items you don’t need to avoid giving pests more hiding spaces and places to take up residence.
Call the experts
Sometimes pests can still manage to gain entry into your home despite all the precautions you take. And while it may be tempting to try DIY solutions to get rid of them, only a professional pest control service can deliver effective and lasting results. The expert technicians at Hawx Pest Control use the latest tools and technologies to eliminate infestations and keep them from returning so you can get back to enjoying a pest-free home. Contact us today for a free estimate.