How Pests Get In Your Home – A Guide

How Pests Get In Your Home – A Guide by Petri Pest Control in South Florida

South Florida’s warm and sunny climate draws throngs of visitors annually to escape the harsh, bleak winters in the Northeast and Midwest. The sunshine state’s tropical climate and pristine beaches also attract household pests. Living in paradise comes with its downsides; insects and rodents trying to come into your home can be a year-round issue for you, your loved ones, and your home. Just how do pests get into your home and what can you do to keep them out?

Possible Pest Entryways to Inspect Around Your South Florida Home

Starting outdoors, making your house less attractive to pests begins with sealing off potential entryways that offer rodents and insects easy access to your home.

  • Cracks and crevices around your foundation

Older homes, especially, that have settled and weathered the elements for years, may have some tiny cracks that don’t seem like a big deal until pests show up. Pests can enter homes through minuscule openings so it’s important to seal every little crack, hole, or crevice in your foundation. While you’re investigating your foundation, check to seal or wrap any wood that touches the ground, as well as replace any rotting or damp wood near your foundation. Wood-to-ground contact is the most common way termites get into homes.

  • Eliminate cellulose mulch

Cellulose mulch is wood, sitting near your home, just inviting termites. Synthetic mulch may be a good alternative to wood mulches. If you must use wood mulches, make sure to keep your mulch at least six inches away from your home.

  • Clean up your yard
    • Remove anything that can hold even a tiny bit of water, including kids’ toys, unused gardening containers, and the like in a shed, garage or carport out of the elements.
    • Removing leftover construction materials and other debris from your yard. Bugs and rodents love to shelter in piles of discarded items.
    • Keep your grass trimmed short to eliminate ticks and other insects that live in tall grass.
    • Eliminate areas of thick overgrown vegetation near your yard – this commonly attracts rodents.
    • Inspect and correct water-prone areas and areas where water tends to collect to prevent mosquito breeding grounds.
    • Correct areas of dark and dense shrubs and bushes where mosquitoes like to hide out during the day.
    • Make sure branches are trimmed so that they don’t touch your house and create bridges for pests to enter your home through.
  • Clean your gutters and fix leaky faucets

Clean out your gutters and make sure your downspouts are draining properly. Moisture-rich areas make prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes and a water source for roaches, ants, and other insects.

  • Check unused drains

Unused drains, especially those with organic matter in them, such as yard debris or soil make excellent breeding grounds for drain flies. Check other entryways on the exterior of your home, as well.

  • Seal doors and windows

While we expect the occasional moth, fly, ladybug, or stink bug to find their way into our homes when doors open, thresholds and weatherstripping keep the majority of insects from entering your home. Any holes you see around your door, from out of square storm doors to missing or worn weather stripping can invite all kinds of insects and pests into your home. Replace window screens that are torn or have holes in them. Mosquitoes are a huge problem in South Florida, as they’re not only annoying, they can carry several human pathogens, such as Zika virus, yellow fever, and West Nile virus, to name a few. Keep porch lights turned off when not in use because moths are attracted to light.

  • Check screens on roof vents, fascia, and soffits

Inspect junctures between adjoining roof lines to prevent yellow jackets and wasps from entering your home through upper floors. Roof vent screens should be securely fastened on all edges. Vents and exhaust fans from your dryer, kitchen, and bathroom should be checked and replaced if vent dampers aren’t moving freely, are stuck open, or are broken.

  • Crawl space screens

Make sure your home’s crawl space screens are secure. This is often overlooked and this makes it easy for pests to enter your home’s crawl space and then your home.

  • Wall passages

Check seals where cable, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, and telephone parts enter your home. Caulk outside and inside if possible.

  • Siding

Seal gaps where siding meets the trim on your home as well as where walls join your foundation.

Pest Proof the Interior of Your South Florida Home

There are some important things you can do to make the interior of your home unattractive to insects and rodents.

Begin by being mindful of the ways you inadvertently bring pests into your home. Many pests enter homes hitchhiking a ride in:

  • Plants that stay outside during the summer
  • Christmas trees and holiday décor that’s brought inside from sheds and garages
  • Dry good products
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Birdseed and pet food containers that are not properly sealed at stores

Bed bugs are particularly skilled at hitchhiking rides on clothing, in suitcases, in backpacks, in electronic devices, and almost anything that your kids take with them to college, that your family takes on vacation or any overnight stay. When returning from an overnight stay, laundering all items in hot water and drying them on a high heat setting can eliminate bed bugs, as well as thoroughly vacuuming non-washable items.

Removing items from boxes outside or in your garage can also help reduce the number of insects trying to enter your home. Other ways to make your home undesirable to insects emphasizes the need to:

  • Clean up leftover food scraps, wiping up spills, and thoroughly vacuuming or sweeping floors after each food prep session, snack or meal
  • Eliminate clutter, including not saving cardboard boxes
  • Store dry goods, dog food, and birdseed in air-tight metal, glass, or hard plastic containers
  • Keep trash in air-tight receptacles
  • Empty trash receptacles often and clean them regularly
  • Fix leaky faucets and any dripping water issues

While it seems like a lot of work to keep pests out of your home, sometimes they make it into your South Florida home, anyway. For year-round pest control services in Palm Beach and Broward Counties, contact Petri Pest Control Services for the peace of mind you deserve. With over 65 years of providing reliable, affordable professional pest control services for homes and businesses in South Florida, trust Petri Pest Control Services to protect your home from the many pests that call Florida home.

How Pests Get In Your Home – A Guide in South Florida

Serving Broward County and Palm Beach County

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