The weather change from warm to cooler weather can often bring pests from the outside into your home. Preparing your home, garage or workplace for the temperature change can reduce costs by saving energy and electricity. Simple maintenance and improvements can exclude pests, which eliminates the need for pesticides such as insecticides or rodenticides.
One principle of reducing chemical pesticides is exclusion–keeping uninvited guests out. Mice will try to find food in your garage, spiders will look for a warm corner for their webs, and furry creatures will seeking refuge from the weather. Take time before the weather turns to follow these tips.
🙾 Clean the roof to remove moss and organic material like leaves. (See our moss removal flow chart here.)
🙾 Harvest the garden! Move spoiled produce to the compost so as not to attract pests.
🙾 Remove old crop and other surface debris to deprive overwintering insects of protective cover.
🙾 Alternately, leave some habitat for native bees. Hollow reeds like those from dahlias or daylilies make great homes for tunnel-nesting bees.
🙾 Fall is a great time to plant perennial trees and shrubs. Be sure to pick the right plant for the right place. Invasive pests primarily signal an ecosystem imbalance. Creating a healthy, robust ecosystem with native plants means fewer pest outbreaks and less work for you!
🙾 Remove mulch and trim ground cover and other landscape plants along the building foundation to discourage rodent travel ways and rat burrowing. Do not allow grass clippings or leaf litter to accumulate next to the house.
🙾 Prune trees, shrubs and ground cover so they are not touching the building.
🙾 Install or replace door sweeps. They will keep critters out and reduce drafts to save energy. If you are concerned about rodents, buy specialized rodent proof door sweeps with steel wool that cannot be gnawed through (such as this one).
🙾 Seal access points. Mice can fit through a hole less than an inch wide! It’s estimated that mice are responsible for 20-25% of electrical fires, and they can transmit diseases. Seal entrances for pipes with caulking and fill large holes or cracks with steel wool and cover with caulk to prevent mammals from chewing through.
🙾 Keep your garbage cans at least 20 feet from your doors and make sure the garage door completely closes.
🙾 Store food items, even craft items like glue, in airtight containers.
🙾 Fix any leaking pipes. Standing water attracts thirsty pests. Houses with interior leaks were over two times more likely to have rodents.
🙾 Regularly vacuum, wipe counters and surfaces with soap and water and wash bedding to reduce insects like ants and spiders.
🙾 If you live in an apartment, know your tenant rights about maintenance and upkeep. Ask your property manager to repair leaky faucets, address any mold issues and make contact immediately if you suspect you have bed bugs. (See our bedbug video here).