Earlier this year, the Clark Man discussed the possible negative impact winter storms might have on pest activity, as well as the structural integrity of your home as it relates to pests gaining access inside.
The recent heavy rains and powerful winds have not only caused flooding and landslides and have brought down trees, but they have also damaged homes and property.
Some of this damage has been severe. But it’s the minor bumps and bruises to a home that could leave it vulnerable to pests seeking shelter from adverse weather.
For example, heavy rain and strong winds can loosen roof shingles or siding, exposing openings that would allow roof rats or ants to enter your home.
Another example would be caulking and weatherstripping around door and window frames and the foundation becoming damaged, which would create gaps that provide mice and other pests an opening to newfound food and shelter.
How much of an opening do rodents and insects need to gain access to your family’s living space? The answer: not much.
A mouse only needs a quarter-inch opening – enough space to fit its head through – to enter a structure. Norway or roof rats only require a half-inch opening to get inside.
The Clark Man would like to remind homeowners to conduct a post-storm inspection of their homes’ exterior, and to perform any necessary repairs to keep pests on the outside looking in. Here’s his eight-point inspection list for your home:
- Check ventilation screens on attics and utility vents, and around chimney openings, to make sure there are no damage
- Re-seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home using a silicone-based caulk, steel wool, or a combination of both
- Replace loose or broken mortar and weatherstripping around the foundation, doors, and windows
- Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged window screens
- Eliminate excess moisture or standing water that has accumulated due to rain, and unclog exterior drains
- Keep attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry
- Clean up downed tree branches and yard waste, trim broken tree branches, and keep branches trimmed at least six to eight feet from the roofline
- Clean out leaves and other debris from gutters, because these can serve as a pest harborage site
If you have questions on pests trying to gain access to your home, call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.