Table of Contents
- 1 PROBLEM #1: PESTS ARE SKILLED INFILTRATORS
- 2 PROBLEM #2: PESTS’ SIZE IS THEIR ADVANTAGE
- 3 PROBLEM #3: PESTS ARE DRIVEN INSIDE BY WEATHER
- 4 PROBLEM #4: PESTS SEARCH FOR FOOD AND WATER
- 5 PROBLEM #5: DISPLACED PESTS SEEK HARBORAGE AREAS
Pests are uniquely qualified to gain access indoors. If you’re diligently keeping doors and windows shut but are still seeing pests inside, try looking at entry points from a bug’s-eye view. Consider these pest problems and solutions when it comes to sealing entry points in your home.
PROBLEM #1: PESTS ARE SKILLED INFILTRATORS
Pests are built to sneak into tiny spaces. A seemingly insignificant gap at the top of a kitchen window’s seal is large enough to accommodate a few climbing spiders or grant entry to a trail of upward-marching ants. Even rats can squeeze their bodies through holes as small as ½ inch, and cockroaches’ claw-like forelegs enable them to crawl up walls or scamper across ceilings.
And in addition to a stronger sense of smell or touch, many pests (moths, locusts, grasshoppers, and cockroaches included) have mechanoreceptors to detect movements and vibrations or chemoreceptors that pick up on various chemical substances in the air, often from very far away. These abilities help them discover and navigate to possible entry points.
SOLUTION: KNOW PESTS’ BIOLOGY
Don’t underestimate a pest’s ability to climb, squeeze, or fly through a space you’ve deemed insignificant. The more informed you are, the more thoroughly you can approach setting up your home’s barriers.
PROBLEM #2: PESTS’ SIZE IS THEIR ADVANTAGE
Since pests tend to be small, even seemingly tiny gaps and cracks can be the equivalent of a wide door welcoming them inside. Small entry points can be hard to spot. Openings may be in a darkened corner or behind thick landscaping. Some may require a ladder or telescoping mirror to locate. Whatever the problem of discovery may be for you, it’s almost certainly not a problem for tiny pests.
SOLUTION: GET ON THE PESTS’ LEVEL
Grab a flashlight and get hunting. Most pests are likely to sneak in at ground level, so a careful inspection of the inside and outside of your home for even the smallest of gaps will go a long way in your pest prevention efforts.
And don’t forget to look up. Tree limbs or shrubs that may be overhanging your roof or touching the sides of your house can act as on-ramps for pest entry points.
PROBLEM #3: PESTS ARE DRIVEN INSIDE BY WEATHER
One of the most common reasons homeowners see an influx of pests has much to do with seasonal changes. Rodents and spiders often set up their nests inside homes to ride out the winter, while the rainy season sends ants seeking higher ground and sheltered spaces.
Exceptional circumstances matter, too. Hurricanes, flooding, heavy storms, and tornadoes can all create an uptick in pest activity.
SOLUTION: BOOST BARRIERS BY SEASON
Inspect entry points and stay on top of home maintenance each season. Before winter, double-check your foundation, weather stripping, and seal any holes or cracks. Spring and summer are times for peak pest activity, so make periodic inspections to check for nests, swarms, and colonies that crop up around your home and garden. Also be sure to boost your efforts by taking note of your area’s native pests and their seasonal presence.
PROBLEM #4: PESTS SEARCH FOR FOOD AND WATER
The next time you leave the floor unswept or walk by spilled pet food, think again. All it takes is a few crumbs or a single spill to draw in hungry pests. In addition to the obvious kitchen messes, our homes are often stocked with improperly packaged food, leaking faucets, or even smaller pests that bring in larger, hungry ones.
Non-food attractants matter, too. Heat-seeking ants and humidity-loving flies are drawn to damp, warm areas near appliances or leaky pipes.
SOLUTION: STAY ON TOP OF CLEANING
No matter the season, adopt a spring-cleaning mindset and put some elbow grease into cleaning things up. Take extra care to inspect obscured areas in cabinets, near baseboards, and in the back of the pantry.
Avoid leaving pet food or water on the floor all day, feeding your furry friends only what they need at mealtimes. Check infrequently cleaned spots, too, such as behind the refrigerator or near the water heater, and make any repairs to leaks or gaps that might be attracting hungry or thirsty pests.
PROBLEM #5: DISPLACED PESTS SEEK HARBORAGE AREAS
Updated landscaping can make the outdoors more enjoyable for you and your family, but it can also cause an uptick in pest activity. Pests get stirred up as the area is disturbed and look for new places to shelter—such as inside your home. Similarly, a new house being built down the street can displace existing pest colonies and nests and drive them to see new harborage areas nearby.
SOLUTION: STRENGTHEN YOUR SEALS
Start with a thorough inspection of potential entry points—high, low, inside, and out—and get to work sealing them up. Gaps less than ¼ inch can usually be sealed with caulk, but larger holes may need sealant, material replacement, or other repairs. Worn-out seals and damaged weather stripping should be replaced, too.
For expert help identifying pest entry points, call Joshua’s Pest Control. Our experts are highly trained in the pests local to our area and know the best ways to protect your home and family. Reach out today for a free quote.