The changing leaves are just one of the reasons so many of us love this time of year, but fall foliage means something all-together different if you own a home. Dropping temperatures and falling leaves wreak havoc on your yard, and they can also create a whole host of pest control problems.
If you’re thinking about hanging up the leaf blower and heading out for some apple picking and football games – think again. Not only is fall cleanup important to preserve your lawn (and your relationship with your neighbors), fall home maintenance is essential to pest-proofing your house.
Clear All Debris
Yard debris can damage your grass and harbor termites, carpenter ants and other pests. Clean your gutters and remove any dead wood, branches and twigs cluttering your lawn. Make sure to clear leaves and moisture-wicking soil and mulch away from your foundation, and use yard cleanup bags for removal.
Trim Tree Limbs & Shrubs
While you may have trimmed your hedges and tree limbs back in the spring, you’ll likely need to do it again in the fall. Rodents can use tree limbs to gain access to your attic, and overgrown shrubs around sheds and porches make it easy for skunks and other nuisance wildlife to hide. You should also mow your lawn shorter than normal, no more than 3 inches, to prevent fungus problems.
Stack Wood Far from House
There’s nothing like a cozy fire in the winter, just remember to store all firewood at least 20 feet from your home to avoid unwanted guests. Termites, mice and smaller rodents will nest in the stacks, so keep wood off the ground to reduce moisture and make it less appealing for pests. Make sure to inspect all logs before bringing them indoors, too.
Seal Cracks & Crevices
Seal cracks in your home’s foundation, gaps between the trim and siding, and openings around utility pipes, vents and chimneys with silicone or acrylic latex caulk and expanding foam for soffit gaps. Copper scouring pads can also be stuffed into gaps with a screwdriver. Repair or replace badly damaged screens seal doors, windows and basement sashes with adhesive weather stripping, and install door sweeps, even in the garage.
Set Up Traps & De-Humidifiers
Consider setting traps in the attic, where squirrels, mice, raccoons and other nuisance wildlife seek shelter in the winter months. Use a dehumidifier in your basement to maintain a 40 percent humidity level and regularly sweep down cobwebs and brush off window sills to discourage spiders.
Albany & Saratoga NY Pest Control
If you’d prefer to leave your fall pest prevention to the professionals, the experts at Nature’s Way Pest Control in Albany and Saratoga NY are here to help. In addition to natural pest control and termite monitors, our unique Pest Block technology is designed to target mice and small rodents. If you discover you have activity in your attic, crawl space or under a shed or porch, we also offer nuisance wildlife removal, attic cleanouts and pest control attic insulation. We serve the entire Upstate New York region from Albany to Plattsburgh NY and offer free inspections and estimates.