There are a few things you can be sure of when fall comes to Southwest Missouri or NW Arkansas: the leaves will turn a vibrant shade of orange or red, the air will
grow crisp, and creatures will start crawling into your home. You can probably live without that last one. Fall is inevitable, but pest infestation is not. You can protect your home and your family from these fall intruders. It requires: recognizing the threat, and the proper implementation of exclusion methods. Take a second to learn more, and you might just be able to enjoy fall this year without the bugs and the critters.
What pests invade homes in fall?
This is, by no means, a comprehensive list of all the pests that invade homes in the fall, but these are definitely on the repeat offender list: skunks, woodchucks, rodents, spiders, ants, fleas, ladybugs, wasps, termites, boxelder bugs, centipedes, earwigs, and roaches. When winter comes, these pests would prefer to be tucked in your house rather than a hole. Some get into food and crawl over dishes, creating unexplainable health issues for your family. Some chew on your home and create structural issues that cost thousands to fix. Some bite you while you're sleeping. And then, there are your general nuisance pests, that like to climb on your walls and gross you out. I think we can agree, bugs and mammals should stay in the wild, where they belong.
Exclusion methods for fall pests.
The best way to keep pests out of your home is to make them feel unwanted. They are looking for moist dark places with food and water sources nearby. They want some rotted wood to chew on, and some warmth for their cold bones--if they have bones. Don't let them find what they're looking for. The goal of exclusion is to make your home comfortable for you, but uncomfortable for bugs.
Keep inside and outside trash in bags, and in sealed containers. This is a food source and a breeding site for pests.
Don't leave pet food sitting. Lay it down during mealtime, and then store it in the fridge between feedings.
Keep things clean and uncluttered.
Replace outside lights with yellow insect-resistant lighting, and keep shades closed at night. Light attracts flying insects, and spiders think flying insects are scrumptious.
If you have dryer exhaust being pumped under your deck, patio, or staircase, channel it out into the open air, so mammals won't find a nice heated place to nest.
Check all your screens, door sweeps, and weather stripping, to make sure everything is in good working order.
Use a caulking gun to seal up holes and cracks in your foundation and exterior walls.
Consult a professional on other exclusion methods specific to your home, and have your exterior walls or perimeter sprayed. This will keep bugs and mammals from sticking around, and give your home and your family added protection against these fall invaders.
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