Spring has sprung and so have the bugs and rodents seeking to invade homes. Whether you are looking at homes to purchase or are a homeowner, there's no time like the present to inspect a home's exterior, especially after the long winter season, which can make it more inviting to house-hunting pests.
"Roof-damaging ice dams caused by snowfall, cracks in foundations and ripped screens can all open up entryways, inviting pests inside and making our homes more susceptible to moisture," says Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).
To ensure the comforts of home are only shared with family and invited guests, and not with unwanted common household pests, the NPMA offers the following advice:
Look for missing roof shingles, ripped window screens and cracks along the foundation, all of which are entry points for pests.
Seal cracks and holes where pests can enter your home, including openings for utilities and pipes.
Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundations and windows.
Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry since many pests are attracted to moisture.
Clean out clogged gutters from fallen leaves and debris.
Vacuum around doors and windows. Frequent vacuuming can catch invaders like spiders, silverfish, earwigs and beetles.
Inspect garages and outbuildings for rodents or signs of a rodent infestation. Organize or get rid of cluttered debris, boxes and random items along the walls where mice may hide or nest.
Store items, especially in the basement or attic, in plastic bins with secure lids instead of in cardboard boxes that are great places for insects to hide.