Your home should be your sanctuary, a place where you can rest, unwind, and feel most comfortable. However, this is not possible if you have pests running all over the place. Dealing with a pest infestation is never pleasant. Unfortunately, an unsealed crawl space is prone to pest invasion. The problem with pests is that they are sneaky, and it is difficult to detect their presence until the damage is done.
The highest risk of pest invasion is during the fall and winter. Just like people, pests also want to get out of the cold. Since temperatures in the crawl place vary from 50°F to 60°F throughout the year, this area presents an ideal shelter for pests. It also offers an abundance of food, such as rotten wood and insects. Here, we’ll explain how you can recognize signs of pest infestation and address the ways you can protect your home against pest invasion.
Signs of an Infestation
The easiest way to determine that you have pests in your crawl space or basement is to keep your eyes open for feces. Pests leave droppings wherever they go, as well as a bad odor. While droppings can vary in size, depending on the type of pest, a bad smell is always present when there is a pest infestation.
Apart from keeping your eyes open for droppings, you should pay attention to damaged soft furnishings, wooden beams, and electrical wiring, as well as an increased number of spiders in your home. Although this last sign seems a bit strange, it makes perfect sense. Spiders feed on insects, so if there is an increased number of spiders suddenly in your home, it probably means that you have an infestation of different bugs.
If you have determined that you are dealing with an infestation, you will need to call a professional exterminator to remove the pests from your home. In addition, you will need to call a plumber to fix any broken pipes, an electrician to fix your damaged power lines, or even a foundation repair expert in case termites have gnawed your wooden beams.
Pests surely give every homeowner a headache, so it is better to prevent pest infestation from happening at all.
4 Ways to Prevent a Pest Infestation This Winter
If you want to avoid pest infestation, the first step would be to keep your home as clean as possible. Knowing where pests can hide and what you should look for is only half of the solution. You need to keep your home free of debris. Here are four steps to help you prevent pest infestation this fall and winter.
1. Identify Hotspots
If you are wondering what hotspots are, those are places that are extremely attractive to pests. This area is usually dark, warm, and contains a food source. Pests can be drawn to dry or moist places. Usual hotspots are areas around the garbage bin, the crawl space or basement, spaces behind large appliances such as water heaters or stoves, as well as inside the walls.
2. Clear out Debris
Now that you know where the potential hotspots in your home are, make sure to keep these places free from debris as much as possible. To protect your walls against pest infestation, ensure there are no large gaps or cracks that could become an entry point. Keep in mind that organic debris can attract pests such as cockroaches. Even if parts of trash are not edible, they can still harbor infestations and nests. Several times a year, schedule an inspection with your local foundation expert who will check your crawl space for debris buildups, malfunctioning insulation, or mold growth. All of these can attract pests.
3. Reinforce Your Perimeter
The majority of pests will invade your home through obvious gaps such as those in your walls, windows, and door frames. Check your home’s perimeter and keep your eyes open for gaps, cracks, and holes. Be particularly vigilant around any holes that were drilled for utilities that may not have been properly sealed. This simple inspection can go a long way. That’s where foundation repair experts serving Baltimore, MD, come in. They can perform a thorough evaluation of your home and repair these cracks and other issues, as well as install measures to waterproof, encapsulate, and insulate this area.
4. Set a Sanitization Schedule
To make your home inhospitable to pests, you should make sure to regularly sanitize hotspots and remove any buildup and debris. Since some pests can survive just on the buildup around the pipes or in them, it is important to clean everything thoroughly. Use an organic sanitizer to remove any dirt and prevent pests from inhabiting your home.
These four steps are rather simple and yet they are effective in minimizing pest activity. However, if pests do invade your home, do not panic. Just call a professional as soon as possible and have them get rid of the pests. Although your home can become infested any time of the year, pests look for shelter from the cold in the fall and winter. To keep your home inhospitable to unwanted critters, remove anything that could attract them.
If your home has been damaged by pests, contact JES Foundation Repair and schedule a free inspection. Our experts will help you win the battle against unwanted guests.