No matter what time of year it is, or what kind of weather we are having, pests are always trying to get into our homes. They can be attracted by moisture, food, or the possibility of shelter. They can get in through cracks, holes, or open doors. Our experts at Royal Pest Services offer these 7 Tips for Preventing Pests in your Jacksonville home as well as what to do if they happen to get in.
1. Seal Windows & Doors
To keep insects from crawling into your home through cracks, check the condition of the threshold under the door; if you can see light under your door in the daytime, you need to install a new threshold seal. Additionally, installing a door sweep along the bottom of each door will give an added layer of protection.
If you open your windows during the year to let fresh air into your home, check the condition of the screens in your windows. Holes in screens need to be patched or you may need to replace the screen.
Look around your door and window frames for cracks. You would probably be surprised to see how insects can wiggle through even the smallest ones. Simply fill each of these cracks with clear silicone caulk and you won’t have to worry about insects getting into your home.
2. Eliminate Standing Water in Your Yard
Pools of water standing in your yard can be breeding places for mosquitoes, fleas, and other pests. If standing water is caused by a thatch buildup from yard clippings, aerating your lawn can help drain the pools. If it is caused by low spots in your lawn, sand and good soil can help level your lawn, or you may need to seek a professional to install drainage lines.
Do you have a pool? Keep it chlorinated and filtered, even when not in use, to prevent creating a breeding area for insects. If you mulch your yard clippings and leaves, keeping your mulch contained and aerating it on schedule can reduce the opportunity for insects to hide and reproduce there.
3. Repair Cracks
Just like cracks around doors and windows can allow pests into your home, gaps in the exterior surfaces of your home provide access to pests, too. We recommend that you perform a thorough visual inspection of the exterior surfaces of your home; siding, brick work, concrete block, stone and poured concrete. All your exterior surfaces are a line of defense against pests, from the roof down to and including the foundation. A space as wide as a pencil can allow a mouse or a snake into your home as well as bugs. Some problems like damaged brick or rotted wood may need to be professionally repaired. Small gaps can be sealed with exterior grade caulk.
4. Repair Water Problems
Either when your home was built, or after you moved in, penetrations were made in the outer and inner walls. Water pipes, electrical wiring, cable service, telephone lines, sewer lines, and more create small vulnerabilities in the walls of your home. The space between the hole and the wire, pipe, or cable that runs through it is an access for pests. Caulk can be used to fill small gaps. For larger gaps, expandable polyurethane foam can often solve the problem.
5. Cover Large Openings
There are large openings in a lot of homes such as the chimney (if your home has one) and roof vents under the eaves of your roof. Cover an open chimney with a chimney cap, designed to keep pests out of your home. Most roof vents come with a wire mesh/screen installed to keep out pests. Check your vents to make sure your home is protected.
6. Don’t Invite Bugs To Dinner
Pests that come into your home are looking for shelter, food, and water. If they cannot find these necessities for life, they will leave.
- Clutter – whether stacks of magazines, books, boxes, piles of clothes, or just random things that sit and are rarely moved make nice homes and breeding areas for pests.
- Food – Seal food in airtight containers or in the refrigerator. Eating in only one area of your home and cleaning up any spills promptly will limit the food available to pests. Store food waste in containers with lids, to reduce access for pests.
- Water – Fix leaking faucets, washer hose connections, or any other source providing water for pests.
7. Encourage Natural Predators
Many birds and bats eat small insects, such as mosquitoes, wasps, flies, and spiders. Encourage birds to visit your yard by adding trees and bushes where they can nest. A bird feeder can encourage birds to visit your yard, too. Encourage bats to visit your yard by adding a bat roost in one of your trees.
If you have a pest problem, please contact us online or call us at 904-886-BUGS(2847).