You may think you’re safer from bugs and creepy crawlies once the cooler months appear, however for most of Australia the climate remains temperate enough for the most common pests to not just live, but thrive. While their breeding cycles are often more likely to occur during the summer months, they are around and looking for warmer places to hide and find food in winter. This is why it’s particularly important to pest proof your home before it starts to get cold.
No matter what type of home you live in, there are several things you can do to deter pests from entering you property, from ensuring you keep it clean and clutter-free, disposing of any old or rotting food, to sealing up any cracks and gaps and calling in a professional pest control company to help you identify or remove any unwanted guests.
We spoke with Danny Kelly of Pest-Ex, about the best ways to pest proof your home during the cooler months and here’s what he had to say.
Preventing Pests From Gaining Access To Your Home
With the sheer number of tiny insects and bugs around our homes, it might seem an impossible task to keep them out of the building. However there are a number of factors that will prevent them from gaining access during the cooler winter months.
Inspecting your windows and doorways for cracks and gaps will show you the easy ways that insects will be able to get in. Consider installing a door sweep onto the bottom of your front and back doors, as this will prevent crawling bugs such as cockroaches, spiders and ants from entering. Door sweeps can also be a great way to prevent drafts when the weather turns colder and windier. They are cheap and easy to install, although if your door is an unusual style or size, you may need to get a handyman to help.
Ants are particularly diligent and cunning about finding paths into your home, and will be able to squeeze their way into even the tiniest gap around windows and doorframes. You can prevent this by installing fly screens if you don’t already have them, as well as sealing any cracks with a filling material such as polyfilla. One tip that builders suggest is to use a filler that can expand and contract with a change in temperature. This means the filler will last longer and be less likely to crack over time. If the gaps are too big for a filler material, consider using expandable foam or rubber seals to protect your windows and doors.
Keep Your Home Clean, Inside And Out
It’s hard to find time to give the house a thorough clean, however it can be a great idea to put some time aside on a weekend to give it a once over before the cooler weather starts. This is because many pests such as rats, mice, spiders, cockroaches, termites and ants are attracted to food (especially old or rotting material) as well as piles of old boxes, stored timber and general clutter.
Garages can be a haven for all sorts of nasty pests, so start cleaning up there first. Tidy up and dispose of any rubbish that’s lying around. Outside in the garden or backyard, it’s also important to clean up any compost areas as rodents in particular will be attracted to rotting vegetation. If you have a vegetable patch that’s not well maintained, clean it up and throw away any old material. Additionally, it is a good idea to prune back any overhanging trees and shrubs close to your home, as these can provide a ‘bridge’ for spiders, termites, ants and other pests into your home.
Finally make sure your pet is eating all of their dog food and clean up any leftovers, so that there are not piles of it lying outside and in the home. Pests, and particularly rodents, love pet food and are sometimes found in cupboards where pet food is stored.
Professional Pest Control
If you want complete peace of mind coming into winter, you can contact a professional pest controller to come and assess your home for problems, then provide you with effective and long lasting treatments. Generally, they will be able to check for a range of pests such as termites, ants, spiders and rodents in and around your property, and give you a tailored solution. Termites, for example, require special technology and expert knowledge to be detected. Once live nests have been found, they need to be removed and the area treated. A professional pest control company will also be able to install equipment for termite prevention such as baits and traps, as well as chemical and physical barriers around your home if required.
For more about all things pest control visit www.pest-ex.com.au