As Valentine's Day approaches, how about showing your home some love by protecting it from wildlife, termites, carpenter ants and all the many pests that want to get in and make your family miserable. When spring arrives, all those dormant pests are going to come to life. Here are some ways to get the jump on them.
An attic inspection. If you have overwintering pests, there is a good chance they are in your attic. Grab a flashlight and go check out those crawl spaces for signs of infestation.
Look for nests. Wasps, termites, rodents and other pests will make their nests in secluded nooks and crannies. Find these nests, catalog what pests you have to deal with, and partner with a pest control company to decide on the best way to eradicate these pests before spring wakes them up.
Look for mouse, rat, bat, squirrel and cockroach droppings. When pests build their nests in your walls, your only sign may be the droppings they leave behind.
Spiders leave signs in your attic as well. If you have spiders in your attic during winter, you'll have spiders crawling all over your home in spring. Consider killing those spiders and removing their webs. Be careful to identify the spider species living in your attic, to be sure you don't get bitten by a black widow, brown recluse or yellow sac spider.
A garage inspection. If you have a garage, especially one that is heated, you could have overwintering pests in there. Here are some things to look for.
Inspect corners and secluded areas for the presence of pests, nesting, webbing and droppings.
Inspect for entry points. Pests will come in through gaps, cracks, broken windows and rotted areas. Repair, fill or cover these areas to exclude pests from your garage.
Exterior wall inspection. Don't wait till Spring to check your exterior walls. Many pests stay active all winter long, and they will still be looking for a place to harbor from the cold.
Check all your screens, weather stripping and door sweeps. These are common entry points for insects.
Make sure windows and window frames are not broken or rotted. Replace glass and fill in rotted areas until you can have things properly repaired.
Look for broken gutters and get them repaired. When snow and ice melts you want that water to be channeled away from your basement walls. Pooled water next to your home can cause wood rot to increase. This will draw in termites, ants, rodents and other wood-chewing pests.
So, give your home some tender loving care this Valentine's Day. When you make the effort to seal your exterior walls from pests you're also reducing your energy costs and preserving the value of your home. It is never too early to get your home ready for Spring pests.