Autumn is a wonderful time of year — leaves show brilliant colors, there’s a refreshing crispness in the air — but, unfortunately, more bugs and rodents are finding their way into your home. As the season changes, insects and other critters are searching for places to hunker down for the cold weather and scoping out new food sources.
A recent survey conducted on behalf of Tomcat found that 73% of consumers said they would do whatever it takes to get rid of rodents. Over 21 million households see rodents in their homes every winter, and more than 60 million households experience insects indoors. Insects and rodents can be a real health hazard, bringing dirt and diseases into your house.
While everyone is spending more time at home, they’re also noticing signs of unwanted visitors in their homes more than ever before. According to a recent survey conducted by Ortho, the number one reason consumers moved away from a professional pest service in 2020 was COVID-19. For health and safety reasons, many were just not willing to invite new people inside their homes. Instead, they’ve opted to try to handle the problem themselves.
Why wait to discover evidence of pests in your home to take action? If you wait until you see one insect or rodent, there are likely many more already lurking in the nooks, crannies — and walls — of your home. The best way to deal with these unwanted intruders is to be proactive, and keep them out of your house in the first place.
To help you better prepare to prevent bugs and rodents from entering your home this fall, Ortho and Tomcat’s Gretchen White, Home Pest Scientist, has shared the following tips:
1Keep your home clean
- Clean up food crumbs or spills promptly. Avoid leaving pet food out overnight.
- Store food in containers that can’t be chewed through. Especially pet food.
- Use a trash can with a lid in the kitchen.
- Keep pipes and drains in good repair, as bugs and critters also need sources of water.
- Clear out piles of debris, newspapers or cardboard that could be used by rodents for nesting material in garages, attics or basements where rodents might take up residence.
- Keep trash containers tightly closed, and store bird food or seeds in sealed containers.
- Check around your home for piles of leaves, debris or wood where insects and rodents can nest.
- Remove any standing water.
- Make sure your chimney is capped.
- Seal any openings in the exterior of your home.
- Cut back any vegetation touching the exterior that pests could climb to gain access to any openings.
2Block them from entering
According to the Ortho survey, the most common pests homeowners try to get rid of are:
- Crawling insects
- Flying insects
- Carpenter ants
- Bed bugs
Unfortunately, it’s hard to keep small insects from entering through holes and cracks you may not even see.
One easy solution is to use an indoor barrier product like Ortho Home Defense Max Indoor Insect Barrier against all common household insects. It kills and deters ants, cockroaches, spiders, fleas, ticks, scorpions, beetles, earwigs, silverfish, centipedes, millipedes and more. The fast-drying formula has no fumes and leaves no stains, so you can use it with confidence indoors. People and pets can reenter the space once the product has dried. It spreads easily into cracks, crevices, under appliances and into hard-to-reach places where insects hide. This is the perfect product to use before you even see any insects — putting down a preventative barrier to keep bugs out.
Rats and mice can enter your home through small holes, cracks or crevices — even as small as a dime. Check your home’s exterior for holes or cracks and seal with caulk, expanding foam, or weather-stripping depending on the size and where you find the holes. When possible, use these flexible materials in combination with those that rodents can’t chew through, such as steel wool, hardware cloth, galvanized sheet metal and cement.
Those measures aren’t fool-proof, however. You can also keep rodents from even trying to come inside by spraying potential points of entry like doors, windows, pipes, cracks, crevices and vents with Tomcat Repellents Rodent Repellent Continuous Spray, which uses essential oil technology to give off a smell and taste rodents naturally hate, but is safe to use around kids and pets when used as directed. It’s easy to apply, and features a no-stink, long-lasting rain-resistant formula.
Following these tips will help give you peace of mind so you can enjoy your home this fall — and year-round — without the constant worry, annoyance and potential health risks insects and rodents can bring.