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Marty’s Maintenance Tips: Keeping Away the Critters

Posted October 26, 2016

Creepy crawlies and things that go bump (or squeak) in the night are a homeowner’s worst nightmare. As the temperatures drop and the moisture levels increase, the fall sends crawling insects and nuisance wildlife in search of a more comfortable environment. Here are a few tips to deter critters of all kinds, before they get in!

When pests start looking for food and shelter, there’s nothing more inviting than the inside of your home. But there are ways to discourage home infestations and unwanted guests. An infestation can’t ruin your home if it never happens!

  1. Keep food under wraps. Perhaps the most obvious, but worth being mentioned. Dry items should be stored in sealed bags or containers; make sure you are taking out the trash often, and store bins far from your doors; and be vigilant about not leaving food-encrusted dishes around the house.
  1. Stay dry. One of the most important factors in keeping out insects, is keeping your home dry. Bugs are drawn to damp, dark places. Fix leaky pipes, sinks, appliances and bath fixtures so they don’t drip; check and touch up caulking around doors and windows; if you have them, ensure eavestroughs are directing water away from the home.
  1. Recycle old paper. Bugs and rodents love to burrow in newspaper, cardboard and boxes. Once again, bring it out regularly and keep it away from the door.
  1. Properly place firewood. Wood-burning fireplaces are a cozy way to stay warm this fall, but firewood and mulch are breeding grounds for bugs, and you want to keep this as far away from your home as possible. If kept outside, piles should be stored at least 30 feet away from your foundation.
  1. Replace your bulbs. In areas like front porches or back decks, where exterior lights are nearby doorways, select bulbs with pink, orange or yellow tints. These colours naturally attract less bugs.
  1. Become a handyman (or check out Amsted’s Upgrades + Repairs department!). Pests don’t need an invitation to find a home in your home – but any size hole is like throwing down a red carpet. Head outside to check for holes in soffit or faschia and any cracks in walls and foundation. If a gap is big enough for a pencil to fit in – it’s big enough for a pest! Inside, you will want to seek out any light through crevices. Look for cracks and openings around baseboards, windows or pipes and holes in window screens.

It’s important to remember, that prevention is always easier than the cure. But, pests are called pests for a reason – and sometimes they find a way in! So it is equally important to remain vigilant in looking and listening for signs of intrusion even after you’ve taken care of all the above. Regularly review the exterior of your home for signs of damage by bugs or rodents, and listen inside for any rustling noises that shouldn’t be there. Investigate any signs immediately, before the pests get a chance to multiply!

If you need any help keeping the pests away this fall, remember that our Upgrades + Repairs department are just a call or email away. While we do not offer extermination services, we can support your prevention efforts and/or fix up any damage, so you can just relax and enjoy your space!