Pests head indoors for the winter around the same time you do! Mice, squirrels and insects see your home as a great source for food, water and shelter, but you can help keep them out using DIY fall pest prevention.
Mice scurry into your home in fall looking for food, water and shelter. They can fit through a hole the size of a dime. Once inside, they can quickly infest your home. One female mouse can have up to 48 babies in one year! Mice spread diseases and can aggravate asthma and allergies.
Tree squirrels don’t hibernate in the winter. They chew holes into your home, causing damage and creating a way for other pests to get indoors.
Asian beetles and boxelder bugs move into homes in the fall to survive the winter. They’ll emerge in spring as the weather warms. These insects squeeze indoors through cracks, often by windows, and then take shelter in walls and attics. They awaken on mild, sunny winter days and follow warmth into your home. These bugs are harmless, but they can stain walls, curtains and other surfaces.
Tips for Fall Pest Prevention
Prevention is the best way to keep mice, squirrels and bugs out of your home. Try these tips for DIY fall pest prevention:
– Use caulk to seal all openings and holes into your house, including around doors and windows. Try to seal the spaces up to an eighth of an inch. Insects can still get in, but entomologists at the University of Minnesota say this will greatly reduce the number that do.
– Install door sweeps or thresholds to exterior doors, and install a rubber seal at the bottom of your garage door.
– Put screens over vents and chimneys to prevent squirrels from getting indoors.
– Keep food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly.
– Cut back shrubs and branches around your home. Experts at Good Housekeeping say they function as highways into your home for pests.
– Keep firewood at least 20 feet away from your house. Mice like to nest in the logs.