Ah. The sound of a gently crackling fire. The aroma of cinnamon. It's an idyllic Fall. The taste of warm apple cider. The melodic sound of rain on the roof. The arrival of spiders and stink bugs. Wait. What?
The change in seasons to cooler weather can mean an unwelcome addition to your home. Household pets can cause major damage to a home if left untreated.
Power Home Remodeling Group, one of the nation's largest home remodeling companies, knows a little something about these cold weather pests.
"Homeowners need to take the threat of pests seriously because they can do so much damage to the structure of a home," says Matt Hess, Power's VP of Operations-Installations. "Most pest infestations and accompanying damage are considered maintenance issues by homeowners' insurance carriers, forcing homeowners to cover costs themselves. Prevention is key to protecting both your home and your wallet."
Some species of pests are more likely to invade your home come fall than others. Power offers tips below to help protect your home from pests this fall:
- Remove standing water: While this was a mosquito breeding ground during the heat of Summer, it's now a playground for termites, carpenter ants, and powderpost beetles.
- Trim shrubs: According to Power, "Many pests use vegetation as a bridge from the ground into your home; so keep bushes, shrubs, vines and trees from touching the house. Wood mulch and plants should also be kept at least 18 inches away from the foundation to prevent rot."
- Eliminate yard clutter: Termites and carpenter ants love wood. They love piles of wood, rotted stumps, and any other yummy tree-based products! Store firewood at least 20 feet away from your home and outdoor structures and at least five inches off the ground.
- Seal gaps and cracks: Stink bugs, in all their loveliness, are looking for a warm place to rest. By sealing up gaps around windows, doors, and roofing you are making it just a little harder for them to make your home their winter getaway. Power suggests, "Seal any cracks or gaps with caulk or epoxy, and use steel wool or hardware cloth to block openings where wires, pipes and cables come into or out of exterior walls. Also be sure to ventilate attics and crawl spaces to ensure the venting system has a good airflow to prevent the buildup of moisture."
- Don't forget the attic! If you think pests can't climb or fly, you're wrong! Warm dryer vents are cozy places to set up camp. Attics can be perfect homes for raccoons, squirrels, and mice. All of these larger pests can do some real damage to your home. Placing a mesh barrier over points of entry, like vents, holes or large cracks, will keep both the animals, and the mites and fleas they carry, outside where they belong.
By addressing this issue now before they become problematic you can save yourself time and money in the long run. Take a few moments today to do a "pest prevention" check-up on your home.