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5 DIY Tips to Keep Pests in Their Place This Fall Featured

09 Aug

Are you seeing more creepy, crawly insects and animals around your home lately? Pests like spiders, rodents, cockroaches and beetles are often seen during fall months because our homes have a wealth of food and moisture sources, as well as warm temperatures and bright lights that draw them inside.


Keeping pests out of your home may seem like an overwhelming task, but entomologist and Orkin Technical Services Director Ron Harrison has five do-it-yourself tips to help keep your home pest-free this fall. These tips are family-friendly, and simple enough to include in your daily routine.  Pests are vital to the environmental balance, but it’s important to keep them outside your home.

1.    Remove the welcome mat (for pests). You can make outdoor spaces less attractive to pests by selecting non-flowering plants and vegetation that does not produce fruit. Also, consider alternatives to organic mulch, which pests can feed on, such as cedar chips or non-organic mulch. “When planting your flower beds this fall, consider reusing old mulch – or at the least, removing old mulch before adding a new layer,” says Harrison. “Pests are more attracted to thick mulch, so it’s important to keep the layers thin.” Trimming low-hanging trees and overgrown shrubbery around your home that can serve as shelter for pests can also help keep them at bay.

2.    Pull out all the stops. Pests like mice can get inside your home through holes as small as a dime, so it’s important to seal all cracks and crevices with waterproof sealant or caulking. In addition, install door and window screens, door sweeps and weather stripping.

3.    Keep design in mind. Consider implementing design elements that are less appealing to pests. For example, you can replace exterior white light bulbs with yellow light bulbs, which are less attractive to pests. If your home needs a fresh coat of paint this fall, consider using dark-colored paint, rather than light-colored paint, to help keep pests away.

4.    Check your bag (and more) at the door. It’s important to inspect yourself, your pets and other belongings before entering the house. “Some pests are great hitchhikers, so there’s a chance that you may carry them inside your home on your clothes, handbags, food and pets,” Harrison says. 

5.    Call the experts. If pest activity gets out of hand in your home, contact a licensed pest professional for a detailed inspection and customized treatment program for your home.

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