6 Tips for a Pest-Free Home This Fall in Toronto
22 Jul 2021
Fall is a wonderful time of year. The leaves change, the air is crisp, and there are many gatherings to look forward to. But, as we like to spend more time indoors, so do pests! Household pests like mice and ants often move indoors when the weather gets colder. To save you the headache of an infestation, here’s what you can do to pest-proof your home while it is still summer.
1. Hire an exterminator
There are many Toronto pest control companies that are not only great for getting rid of pests but for keeping them out permanently. They conduct inspections that identify points of entry and what may be attracting pests to your home. They can also pest-proof your home for you, sealing the entry points they found during the inspection. Professionals use high-quality meshes and pesticides that work better than the ones found in stores.
2. Seal cracks and crevices
One of the easiest things you can do to keep pests out is to seal the cracks and crevices you find on the exterior of the home. Walk around the house and examine your foundation for cracks. Thin, vertical cracks can be sealed with an epoxy sealer or silicone caulking. Larger cracks should be inspected by a professional. Then, check your window frames for gaps and seal them with more caulking. Inside, seal any gaps you find in the baseboards and cabinets of the home.
For bonus protection, ensure that your window screens have no holes in them and put floor sweeps on the bottoms of your doors to the outside. Many pests get into the house by walking through the front door. Replace the weatherstripping on the garage door if it is worn out.
3. Wall vents
Those vents you have on the sides of the house are entry points for mice and other pests. Mice can smell your food through these vents and can sense that the air that escapes them is warm. Thankfully, you can cover your wall vents with mesh to keep them out. Screw a quarter-inch, 16-gauge, galvanized steel mesh right into the walls, over your vents. You can purchase this mesh at some hardware stores or professional pest removers. Weep vents can also be protected with stainless steel covers.
4. Maintain the yard
Pests are drawn to yards that are cluttered and overgrown. From there, they will get into the house. Get rid of any scrap that is lying around and trim your overgrown shrubs, hedges, and vines before the end of the season. Move firewood away from the sides of the home. Pull weeds and mow the lawn on a regular basis so that pests have fewer places to hide.
You should also check your trees for signs of disease and branches that hang over the roof of the house. Cut branches a few feet away from the home so they do not risk damaging the roof or giving pests easy access to the attic. Hire an arborist if you need a tree removed.
5. Tidy up the kitchen
Kitchens attract pests because they are – you guessed it – full of food. Empty out your cupboards and wipe them down to remove crumbs. Store pantry goods in sealed containers. Then, get in the habit of doing the dishes every day. Keep the sink clean. Avoid leaving any food out on the counter and take the garbage out every night. Mice and many other pests are nocturnal. Clean the garbage can every now and then to remove odours. Sweep or vacuum the floors at least once a week.
6. Dehumidify the basement
Crawling insects, like spiders, silverfish, and centipedes, love moisture. They are often drawn to basements for their humidity. Optimal humidity levels range between 40-50% in the summertime, and 30-40% in the winter. If you are unsure of the humidity in your basement, try filling a glass of water with a few cubes of ice and waiting for 5 minutes. If the air is humid, there will be condensation on the sides of the glass.
The same logic goes for the rest of the home, too. Make sure your bathroom fans are working properly and fix every leaky faucet in the house. Pests need water just as much as they need food.