One of the first thoughts homeowners have when finding pests in their home (after oh no, gross) is “Where did they come from?” Pest problems have to start somewhere, means that those bugs, mice and other annoying creatures have found a way inside. Locating and blocking that entrance is an important part of halting pest invasions and preventing future issues. Here are some of the most common points of entry and methods by which pests come into your house.
Yes, smell can attract all sorts of pests on the search for food, from insects to rodents. There are several things you can do to stop them from prowling inside for treats, like always cleaning up food at once, taking out the trash at regular intervals, and washing dishes consistently every day. However, you should also keep in mind that pests always need a way to get inside. Chances are that they are finding ways in through open windows without any screens, back doors that have been propped open, and other fairly obvious entrances. Deal with these issues first and correct bad habits to help prevent pests.
Moisture is especially dangerous when it comes to pests, because it can both damage materials and draw in bugs that are attracted to moisture. Bathrooms and kitchens should always be well vented. Avoid any standing pools of water and watch to make sure that condensation quickly evaporates. If it does not, then moisture could be seeping into the floors and walls, acting as a powerful incentive for pests to start exploring your home.
Many pests find their way into your house through the foundation or the floorboards of your home. Over time – especially in older houses – cracks can develop in these areas large enough for annoying creatures and insects to find their way through. If you notice a lot of gaps and cracks in the foundation or in nearby areas, consider hiring a contractor to examine your house and spot the areas that need to be treated. There are plenty of foam insulation options and filler that can be used block up these cracks and discourage pests.
Piping deserves a separate mention beyond foundation cracks. First, many of the worst gaps in a house can often be found around piping projects. The small gaps left in the wall and crawlspaces around piping, if left un-insulated, can serve as tunnels to encourage pests. More insulation is needed here.
Venting and ductwork, like piping, requires holes through walls and under your house (or in your attic). These holes, if not properly caulked and maintain, can eventually help pests find new ways into your house. The good news is that vents and ductwork is relatively easy to examine for gaps and seal properly.
Sometimes pests find their way into your house because of external conditions. Wood leaned against your house for a long time? Not a good idea – it can encourage pests and give them access to higher regions of your house. Also true of overgrown bushes, dirt piles, and other piled debris. Just say no.