Fact: Pests will attempt to breech your home this fall. When they succeed, they can create a laundry list of problems. In addition to becoming a nuisance, pests have the potential to cause serious threats to your health, your family, and the structure of your home.

Here are a few tips to protect your home this fall:

1. Inspect the home’s foundation.

Walk around your home during the middle of the day looking for cracks or crevices that should be filled in to prevent pests from accessing your basement, crawl space, or living spaces. Also, make sure all storm drains are clear of debris and weather stripping is secure.

2. Take the trash out each day.

This step removes rotting food from the home and eliminates odors which attract pests. Place all outdoor trash in a sealed receptacle to avoid attracting unwanted guests. Remember to rinse your trash receptacles quarterly.

3. Give your yard a make-over.

Pests, such as ants, beetles, caterpillars, cockroaches, and millipedes, like to gain access to your home by traveling on bush or tree branches which touch the home. Make sure to trim your trees and bushes to prevent this natural highway occurrence.

4. Bathe pets regularly.

Regular bathing and brushing of your pets as well as the use of preventative and protective flea and tick treatments help keep unwanted house guests away. Consult your local veterinarian for the best prevention methods if your pets spend long hours outside.

5. Schedule an attic inspection.

The main purpose of scheduling an annual attic inspection with your pest control professional is to look for threats to the home. Fall is the season when pests such as rats, mice, and squirrels seek shelter from the elements by invading your home. In addition to the very harmful diseases these pests carry and can expose to the home’s occupants, they can also cause serious structural damage by gnawing on electrical wiring and woodwork throughout the home. Your pest control professional will look for access points and signs of pest occupancy followed by a plan for prevention or removal. Prevention is always the best plan.

Following these steps will not guarantee a pest-free home this fall and winter. However, prevention helps minimize the potential of unwanted guests. Take time this fall to pest-proof your home and discourage pests from choosing to spend the season on your dime.

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