1). Clean and inspect gutters
This is especially important during fall when all of the leaves and heavy debris fall from trees surrounding your home. If you live in a place with few trees this might be something that you can get away with doing less frequently, but its always good to get up on a ladder and check to ensure proper drainage will occur during rainy seasons.
Professionals recommend cleaning gutters once or twice each year. One during the spring, and once fall. If you live in an area that has a high amount of debris falling from trees around then you might need to do it more frequently.
Failing to properly clean and care for gutters can cost you thousands of dollars. Compromised gutters can create access points into the attic space for roof rats, mice, squirrels, and birds when the gutters start pulling away from the house. Usually this occurs when the facia board behind the gutter rots away.
Once rats, mice, or squirrels get into your attic space they can infest the insulation, chew on wires and pipes, leave urine and droppings, and generally make a big mess. Remediation work for attics cost a premium and could quickly peak over $5,000-$8,000 to remove the infested insulation and install fresh stuff depending on the size. The same is true of wiring – many house fires are caused by rodents chewing on wires inside of wall voids and in attic spaces.
If gutters are left clogged or broken the foundation of the home can suffer serious harm due to excess water dropping too close to the home. Foundation repairs and reinforcement can easily exceed $15,000 especially if you use a decent contractor, which you should when dealing with your home’s foundation. Get ahead of the ball and clean your gutters.
2). Seal crawlspace vents
Broken crawlspace vents are a common way that rodents enter into the crawlspace of homes. Once a rat or mouse creates a nest in a crawlspace the homeowner might not know about it for months or years – at which point the problem has often gotten out of control. Crawlspace remediation, like attics, can get spend FAST. Most crawlspaces are pretty terrible to do work in, especially removing rodent infested insulation, and therefor the homeowner should expect to pay a premium for that work to be done. It is not uncommon for crawlspace remediation jobs to go upward of $6,000-$8,000. The cheaper option is to simply ensure that your vent screens are all sealed properly.
3). Remove dense plant life around home exterior
Ideally there should be no plants within 3 feet of the home’s exterior. This is not always possible nor desired by some homeowners, so a good rule of thumb is to try to ensure that there isn’t dense foliage directly up against a home. Things such as ivy, shrubs, bushes, vines, etc. provide perfect shelter for rats and mice to nest, store food, and stay hidden. Once they are so close to the home’s foundation it takes little time for rats to dig down under the foundation and into the home’s crawlspace.
Rats are agoraphobic which means they hate open spaces. Dense ivy or bushes feed right into this instinct for rats. Removing shelter close to the home will help ensure that rodents don’t want anything to do with your property.
4). Exterior Perimeter Treatment
Once you’ve ensured that the above items have been dealt with another great item to consider is a perimeter spray or granular product. Applying a product around the perimeter of the home around each change of season will help keep unwanted ants, spiders, and other pests away from your home and away from your family. Use a product that gives you confidence in its ability. Make sure to use products that won’t harm your family or pets – and always read and follow the label.
If you have questions, comments or if there is anything we can do to help you keep your family pest free call or text us at 503-985-6523.