Winter is coming. Time for families to gather around the fireplace, tune in to the traditional holiday classics, and cozy up with a cup of hot cocoa. Sounds lovely. But there might be certain guests in attendance that aren’t welcome at your comfy family gathering. Unfortunately, baby, when it’s cold outside, some of our creepy-crawly friends tend to relocate into the comforts of your home.
Once you’ve spotted them inside, you may wonder, how did they even get here? Today, we’ll discuss the best ways to keep bugs outside where they belong using the exclusion method, so you can continue to enjoy your wintertime traditions pest-free!
What Is Exclusion?
In the past, the default form of pest control was the use of pesticides and other chemicals. However, in this day and age, we are a more “green” society and more likely to shun the idea of dousing everything with sprays and poisons. Exclusion, an environmentally-safe method, is one that Aspect is beginning to embrace as our business moves forward.
So, how does it work? Well, if you wanted to “exclude” a person, perhaps you’d not return an email, or you’d give them the cold shoulder if you saw them. When it comes to “excluding” bugs and rodents, there are techniques to keep these creatures from your home. The exclusion method is a matter of identifying the areas where pests are likely to enter and sealing them up – denying them access to a way inside.
The key to exclusion is prevention. Who wouldn’t want to prevent pests from entering their home in the first place?
What Are the Best Exclusion Methods?
Insects and rodents can be kept out with a bit of effort and a few simple adjustments to your home. Here, we break down the steps you can take to start excluding these unwanted visitors.
Don’t Invite Them In!
Pests aren’t looking for a party- just food, water, and shelter. Whether you realize it or not, there are plenty of sneaky entrances into your home. That’s why the first and most important step is to give your property a thorough inspection- both inside and out. This will help you uncover how they got in and perhaps what drew them in in the first place.
These are a few things you should keep a look-out for:
- Cracks or gaps in the foundation or siding
- Gaps around vents
- Oversized holes for utility cables or wires
- Gaps in windows or under doors
- Holes in screen doors and windows
- Open food or beverage containers or spills left behind
- Excessive clutter
- Uncovered trash and recycling cans
Time to Make Amends
Once you’ve identified the problem area(s), you’ll need to come up with a plan to fix the structural defects. You can choose whether to tackle them yourself or to hire a professional.
Chances are you’ll need water-resistant caulking and sealant materials to seal up any gaps in the foundation or around vents or windows. (Caulking should be used for minor openings- usually smaller than a quarter of an inch. Sealant or spray foam works better for larger holes and gaps). Replace any damaged window screens, and fill in any holes left from old wires. If there are any leaks, take care of them immediately.
Making these adjustments will go a long way in preventing insects and rodents from coming in. (An added bonus – it will help with keeping your home warm/cool depending on the season).
Clean it Up
Equally essential is keeping in and around your home as clean as possible. When it comes to the inside, clean up any spills, crumbs, or loose foods or beverages that could attract pests. All food should be kept in some kind of container. If you have pets, their food should also be stored away properly in a container. If they don’t finish eating all of their food at mealtime, don’t leave it out, as that is a major attractant.
Outdoors, clean up any yard waste or clutter where rodents or wildlife might like to make a nest for themselves. These particular pests are also attracted to your garbage, so always be sure to put a lid on your trash cans. Additionally, keep any wood piles or stacks away from your exterior walls.
Keep it That Way!
Now that you’ve made the proper adjustments and fixes, it’s imperative to maintain them. Trust us, once you give them a way in, they will have no trouble finding the essentials they need to survive. By sealing off potential entrances and cleaning up enticing nesting spots, you have taken the necessary steps toward making your property unattractive to common insects, rodents, and even other wildlife.
What Are the Benefits of Exclusion?
Your best defense against pests is prevention. Currently, you may not be aware of the tiny cracks, gaps, and holes in your home that outside critters have access to and can ultimately nest in. (Usually, at the first sign of pests in your home, the likelihood is that they’ve already been there for quite some time!)
Exclusion methods allow you to act before you have an infestation problem, instead of taking reactive measures which could be more costly. As we mentioned earlier, this is also a much more safe and “green” method of pest control, as it prevents you from using sprays or chemicals in your home. Perhaps most importantly, it eliminates any concerns that your property is vulnerable to intruding pests making themselves comfortable on your property.
Have you followed all of these exclusion techniques but still have an insect or rodent problem in your home? Contact us at Aspect Pest Control. We would be more than happy to assess your property and make the proper adjustments so that you can take comfort and joy in your home this holiday season.