This is the time of year that the pests and insects around the exterior of your house will try their best to enter your warm and comfortable home. Mechanical Pest Control (caulking, screening, physical barriers) is an important part of the pest control process. Here are 11 hidden pest and insect entry points around your home that should be inspected and repaired if needed before spring.
- 1. Foundation Vents: Most houses in the Raleigh area have them. Foundation vents are important for the ventilation under the structure of your house. They should be easy to open and close depending on the times of the year (see more info about moisture control here). Also these vents should have screening on them to keep pests out. Make sure screening is intact and vents are properly sealed around the edges and replace vents if needed.
- 2. Wire Penetrations: This could be cable lines, phone lines, electrical lines, etc. All wires should be caulked and sealed around properly to prevent pest entry. This is an easy fix and can be performed with a caulking gun in no time.
- 3. Vegetation on Structure: If ants or other insects are feeding and foraging on vegetation that is touching your home, the house becomes an extension of that vegetation. Also vegetation can build an untreated bridge to your home even when you have a regular pest control service. Prune bushes, tree limbs, ivy away from the home to reduce chances of pest problems.
- 4. Improperly sealed windows: Windows and window screens should fit tightly in the window frame to prevent possible entry way for pests. Feel for cold drafts around windows and check screens for tears. Install weather stripping, repair screens, caulk around the exterior of the window frames, or replace windows with better sealing windows.
- 5. Exterior Doors: Check for drafts around all exterior doors. You should not see daylight around the edges of a door when shut. Have someone shine a light around the frame of the door and see if you can see the light on the other side. (Make sure to bend down and look at the bottom of the door as well) If light is visible or you can feel a draft, small insects will be able to enter around these areas. Adjust doors to fit tightly, install weather stripping, install door sweeps to prevent insect entry.
- 6. Attic Gable Vents: Don’t forget to look up at the roof area. Check around soffit vents, attic gable vents, eaves, and soffit areas. Look for openings or other areas of pest entry. Check screenings around attic vents to ensure bats, squirrels, or other wildlife do not have access to your attic.Attic Gable Vent
- 7. Openings in Siding: Check for gaps in the siding where siding butt joints meet, where siding is close to ground, and at corner trims. Seal as needed to prevent pest entry. Keep soil/mulch away from the bottom of siding to prevent moisture build up and insect entry or damage.
- 8. Recycling Bins: Keep the recycling bin away from the house. This is a good area for pests to congregate and eventually enter the home. If the recycling bin is kept in the garage or near the home rinse out all cans/bottles and ensure no food/drink residue is left to attract pests.
- 9. Heating and Air Conditioning: Many houses will have either a gas pack or a split air system. This means there will be an opening where control lines, suction lines, and duct work will enter the home. Make sure these areas are sealed to prevent pest from entering around them.
- 10. Remove Debris and Clutter from the exterior: Stored firewood, excessive leaves, and cardboard boxes, all will increase the population of insects around the exterior of the home. Removing or reducing these habitats can go a long way to controlling these pest.
- 11. Keep your Gutters Cleaned: This is a big one. You would not believe the amount of insect activity that can occur in a full gutter. Roaches and ants love the debris that collects in a gutter over time. Clean your gutters or have them cleaned on a regular basis.
Take the small amount of time it takes to walk around your house and observe these areas. Many times by fixing these small items you can reduce pest entry into your home. Pest Control is much more than just “spraying” and hoping for the best. Pest Control done right is a combination of inspection, identification, mechanical alterations (screening, sealing, caulking), reducing pest and insect populations, and then treating as needed.