Spring is almost here and household insects can be a frequent problem during warmer seasons. One of the best ways to get rid of household pests is to keep them from getting into your home in the first place.
Here are some steps you can take to pest-proof your home.
- Install door sweeps or thresholds at the base of entry doors. You can check the integrity of your door seals by looking for light shining through the gaps between the door and its frame. Insects and spiders can squeeze through spaces smaller than 1/16 inch. 1/4-inch-wide gaps are large enough for the entry of mice, and half inch gaps ae adequate for rats.
- Apply caulk along the bottom outside edge and sides of door thresholds. Garage doors need to be fitted with bottom seal constructed of rubber and vinyl seals. Gaps under sliding doors need to be filled by lining the bottom track with 1/2 inch wide foam. Use a good caulking gun for neat and clean results. Before you start sealing the cracks, clean and remove any old peeling caulk to aid adhesion. For a more professional look, try to smooth the bead of the caulk after application with a damp cloth or a moistened finger.
- Repair any tears or holes in window and door screens. This will reduce the entry of flies, mosquitoes, and other insects. Certain insects like leafhoppers and hackberry psyllids can be small enough to fit through standard mesh window screens. The best way to deny entry to these tiny insects is to keep windows closed during the peak breeding season.
- Finally, consider applying an exterior treatment with insecticides and sealing all roads that insects might have to your home. You can use long lasting liquid formulations that contain synthetic pyrethroids, as these are very effective in controlling pests. Using a compressed air or hose end sprayer, you can treat the base of all exterior doors and garage or crawl space entrances. Check the foundation vents and utility openings for a complete pest proofing experience.