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How to prepare for autumn insects | Environment

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How to prepare for autumn insects
How to prepare for autumn insects

It's nearly fall, and the weather's getting cooler. That means all the critters who may normally hang around outside - such as ants, mice and spiders - will be looking to move into warmer spaces. Like your home.

So how can you get make sure these uninvited guests don't just come in and make themselves at home? Terminix has a few tips:

  • Move piles of firewood and other debris away from the home’s foundation. Both provide ample sources of shelter for rodents and other pests and could encourage them to live near the home.
  • Seal any holes or cracks in your home’s exterior. Rodents can squeeze through openings smaller than ¼ inch, and spiders, roaches and other pests need even less room than that. Large openings should be stuffed with steel wool or wire mesh before sealing with caulk.
  • Ensure attic and foundation vents are equipped with tight-fitting ¼ inch hardware cloth. This will help keep rodents at bay. Also install insect screening over windows, utility vents and other areas where small pests may slip through.   
  • Place a tight-fitting weather strip on the bottom of all doors. Exterior doors that do not have a tight seal can allow a variety of pests to enter the home. 
  • Trim tree branches and shrubs away from the home. Rodents and other insects can scale rough surfaces like trees or large shrubs in order to access your home’s roof or other entry points in the home’s exterior.
  • Place weather stripping on the bottom of all exterior doors to ensure they seal tightly. Doors that do not have a tight seal can allow a variety of pests to enter the home and can allow warm air to escape. 
  • Use caulk to seal any holes or cracks in your home’s exterior. Large holes should be stuffed with steel wool or wire before sealing with caulk or other materials. 
  • Eliminate cracks or openings around pipes and utility lines that enter the home. These are potential problem areas that can allow pests in and heated air out.   
  • Close the flue damper when the fireplace isn’t in use. An open damper can allow a large amount of air out and can be an entry point for a variety of insects, rodents and wildlife.