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With winter just around the corner, most Mainers are checking their chimneys, inspecting their home’s heating and air conditioning system, and, of course, stocking up on firewood. However, several homeowners are also getting their places inspected by a professional company for pest control in Maine.

The reason is quite simple: cold weather brings everyone indoors – including pests!

If you do not take any measures for fall pest control, you may have problems with spiders, ants, cockroaches, bugs, or even rodents in your house later this season or during the winter months.

So, how do you keep the bugs at bay?

The experts at our leading company for pest control in Maine have rounded up the best pest-fighting strategies to keep all unwanted visitors out of your home at all times. Follow these tips to keep your place safe, hygienic, and comfortable during fall, winter, and beyond.

1.    Locate and Seal Pest Entrances

The best way to keep pests from moving indoors is to block off all entryways. Carefully inspect your house to determine the areas that may be open to the outdoors. If you think small cracks and crevices in your door or windows don’t pose much of a safety risk, think again! Even the narrowest crack can serve as a wide-open door for the creepy crawlers eager to get inside.

The most obvious entry points for pests include attic vents, chimneys, mail slots, broken windows, and pet doors. Additionally, you need to examine the underside of your siding as well. Use a handheld mirror to find any gaps in the structure. If you see a potential passage, mark the spot with masking tape so that you can seal it afterward.

Following is a brief overview of how to properly seal off the common entrances for pests:

  • Doors, Windows, and Basement Sashes – Close gaps around these using adhesive-backed weather-strips. Make sure that the surface is clean; otherwise, the strip will come off after some time.
  • Dryer Vent – Take a close look at your dryer vent to ensure the seal between the wall and the vent is intact. If it is not tight or if the damper is broken or jammed open, repair it immediately.
  • Trim and Siding – To fill the gaps between the trim and siding, use acrylic latex caulk. Apply a generous amount at the appropriate spot and then smoothen it out with wet fingers. Remember to wear gloves and use a damp cloth to wipe off the excess caulk.
  • Soffit – For considerably large openings, such as soffit gaps, use copper scrubbing pads and expanding foam. First, stuff the copper mesh (push it deeply inside with the help of a screwdriver), leaving only about an inch of space. Then, fill the gaps with expanding foam sealant. Once it has hardened, you can remove the excess by cutting with a utility knife.

Pests, including rodents, can fit through holes smaller than the size of a tennis ball. Therefore, try to seal any pipes leading into the house too. According to expert pest exterminators in Lisbon, Maine, you can use steel wool to block any opening that you don’t want to seal permanently.

2.    Avoid Moisture Buildup

Damp areas attract pests like a magnet. And if there’s a leaky pipe or faucet, your house becomes an A-star rental for these nasty creatures. It’s like finding a house by the lakeside or a waterfront, quite literally!

To keep your place from becoming a hangout for cockroaches, rats, centipedes, silverfish, and whatnot, keep a check on your indoor moisture level. Run a dehumidifier in areas that are usually damp, such as the basement and garage. Make sure that the attic and crawlspaces are well ventilated and stay dry at all times.

Needless to say, you must fix any damaged pipes, blocked drains, and leaky faucets without delay.

While you try to keep indoor humidity down, don’t forget the outdoor elements that can be responsible for moisture buildup too. Since plants and soil retain moisture, trim back the bushes and pull mulch away from foundation of your house.

3.    Keep Your House Clean

Cleanliness is the key to keeping all insects from taking over your place in the cold season and beyond. Be it the leftovers from dinners or the plenty of raw ingredients stored in the pantry, your kitchen is full of all kinds of sweet and savory stuff that pests can thrive on. In fact, even the dustbin in your bedroom can have several options for any bug scavenging for food.

These are the unwelcome guests you definitely don’t want to feed. Therefore, make it a point to always keep your house neat and clean.

  • Wipe off the kitchen counters as soon as you finish the meal prep.
  • Store all food items in airtight containers.
  • Discard cardboard packaging, such as cereal boxes as they often serve as the ideal breeding ground for pests like cockroaches.
  • Keep the floors clear of food crumbs.
  • Vacuum at least once a week.
  • Deep clean the kitchen sink and bathroom drains (insects can find a way in from sewerage lines too)
  • Cover the garbage bins in the home or garage with a lid.
  • Empty the trashcan regularly.

Note that many pests are attracted to pet food just as they are to regular human food. Thus, never leave pet dishes sitting out. Wash them as soon as your pet has finished eating.

Moreover, don’t leave pet food in its original packaging. Transfer the contents to a plastic or metal food container instead. Sealed containers or elongated metal boxes are a good storage option especially because mice cannot climb the slick walls.

4.    Break Habits that Attract Pests

A warm and toasty indoor with free food is not the only factor inviting insects into your house. You may have certain habits that can be a big ‘welcome’ sign for pests.

Do you have piles of magazines, newspapers, or old clothes sitting in the corner of your house? They can be a nice hiding place for insects during winter.

Do you store firewood inside or near your house? If you do, you are sure to attract wood-boring pests to your place.

Get rid of all the clutter and remember to always store firewood above the ground and at least 10 feet away from your house.

5.    Stay Vigilant

Lastly, you need to stay vigilant of fall pests always. Thoroughly inspect items, such as package deliveries, grocery bags, firewood, and so on before bringing them into your house. Also, look for any bugs hitching a free ride whenever your pets come from a stroll outside.

Following these tips can keep your house from becoming a winter rental for bugs. If any annoying creatures still manage to get past your defenses, contact Ant Plus Pest Control for professional pest extermination. We serve Lisbon and all the surrounding areas including most of Central Maine.