With below-average temperatures and above-average precipitation predicted this fall and winter for California and northern Nevada, the pest forecasters at the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) are calling for an uptick in late-season pest activity.
This is according to the NPMA’s Bug Barometer, a seasonal forecast of pest pressure across the United States. This fall/winter’s barometer also forecasts a spike in rodent activity, as heavy late-season snow is predicted in upper elevations. Increased rainfall and a denser snowpack translate into more abundant grass and plant growth in the spring – two things rodents seek out for food and harborage.
What does this mean for you? Following a hot and dry summer where record-breaking heat and little precipitation was the norm, it means that pests go into survival mode and start searching for a place to live during winter – until temperatures rise in the spring and they can move back outdoors.
Unfortunately, your home is in pests’ crosshairs, because it has an abundance of the essentials – food, water, and shelter – that pests need to survive.
Once pests gain access to a home, they can prove quite difficult and costly to eradicate. Aside from the annoyance, such pests as rodents and cockroaches can contaminate food and transfer disease pathogens including E. coli and Salmonella to food, and also to countertops, kitchen tables, and other dining-related surfaces.
To protect your home from uninvited pest visitors this fall and winter, Clark, your neighborly pest, termite, and lawn care expert, would like to remind you that you are the first line of defense in preventing pests and rodents from gaining access to your home.
In addition to staying on top of basic home and yard maintenance tasks, you can pest-proof your home and protect your food, pets, and family from potentially harmful pests. Below are Clark’s seven fall pest-proofing tips to reduce the risk:
- Screen attic vents, openings to chimneys, and any other areas that are open to the outdoors, like mail slots and animal doors.
- Keep basements, attics, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry. Consider using a dehumidifier in these areas.
- Keep kitchen counters clean, store food in airtight containers, and dispose of garbage regularly into sealed receptacles.
- Replace weatherstripping and repair loose mortar around the foundation and windows.
- Inspect boxes of decorations, package deliveries, and grocery bags for pest damage before bringing them indoors.
- Avoid leaving pet food dishes out for long periods of time.
- Trim back bushes and tree limbs that are touching the house and clean up yard debris that could serve a home to pests.
Clark also reminds you to keep an eye out for any signs of wear and tear around the exterior of your home, including the roof. Pests will take any opening in a wall, door, window, or roof as an invitation to enter. Caulk, steel wool, screening, heavy-duty seals, and other suitable materials can keep pests from finding a route into your home.
An ounce of prevention can go a long way in keeping your home pest-free this fall and winter.
If you are experiencing an issue with unwanted pests in and around your home, call Clark, California’s trusted, friendly pest and termite management expert, at (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home and yard.