Prevention is much easier than elimination, so knowing how to stop pests from entering your home is vital.
Once pests like rats, mice, flies and cockroaches break in, they will breed, which means you end up with an infestation. Nobody wants to share their home with pests because they lead to poor hygiene and spread diseases and bacteria.
Understanding that pests are seeking shelter, food, and water allows you to focus on keeping them out and removing food and water sources which will attract them.
In this guide, we will share our top tips for stopping pests from entering your home.
10 Top Tips for Stopping Pests from entering your home
With colder months on their way, Good Housekeeping advises that now is the prime time to prevent pests looking for warm shelter from entering your home.
Follow these simple tips to keep pests out all year round.
- Check your doors
A locked door may keep out unwanted intruders, but pests only need a small gap to squeeze through.
Doors often have a gap at the bottom which will not only let in draughts but could be a way for insects or small rodents to get in. You can buy a nylon sweep to fit along the bottom of doors to protect your entrances.
You can also fit a weather shield or door seal around the sides and top of your doors to close unwanted gaps.
Leaving a back door open is an invitation to pests. You will bring flies inside in the summer unless you install a fly screen or curtain.
- Check your Windows
Of course, opening your windows is necessary to provide ventilation, especially on a hot summer day. However, you do not want to encourage flies.
You can use blinds or curtains to discourage flies, but it would be even better to fit a separate mesh fly screen to keep them out, especially in your kitchen.
- Maintain your Garden
Your garden may be the source of many pests, especially vermin like rats and mice. If they are attracted to building a nest in your garden, they may enter your property to seek food or shelter in the winter.
One way to discourage pests is to clear away garden waste piles and dispose of them. Rats will make nests in piles of leaves.
They also love building nests under wooden decking, so check for holes and entry points around the edges.
Your vegetable patch could be a food source for mice and rats, and your bird table or feeder is another invitation to dinner for unwelcome guests. If you are one of those people who like to feed hedgehogs, it may be that rats are also popping out at night to have a feast.
Check these areas for signs of vermin activity and consider making changes or using wire netting over your produce to protect it from pests. Choose squirrel-proof bird feeders and clear away any seed that drops to the ground.
A low-level water fountain may provide a water source for pests as well as garden birds.
- Look inside Your Shed
Mice love to build nests in compost bags and warm corners in sheds. If you have an infestation, there is always a chance they will enter your home looking for food.
You can discourage them by ensuring all bags are sealed, and there is no material lying around they can use for nests. Bird and pet food should be packed in chew-proof containers.
- Repair Exterior Cracks
It’s not just tiny insects that can fit through a crack. Rats have impressive skeletons that allow them to contort through the smallest spaces.
According to How Stuff Works, tiny mice can squeeze through a gap that a pencil can fit in. Yes really.
It is worth examining your home’s exterior walls to note any cracks. They often appear in the mortar between bricks or at the edges of crumbling bricks. You may also have gaps around windows or rotten wood frames.
Use an exterior sealant to fill small gaps or foam sealant for larger holes. Replace any rotten wood and replace broken guttering of fascias.
- Seal Around Pipe and Cable Feeds
Ensure that you seal around any places where you have made a hole to feed a wire, cable or pipe.
When a contractor like a broadband worker has to drill a hole to lay cable, they often use sealant to fill the gap around the wire, but it is worth checking yourself.
You can fill more significant gaps with steel wire before using sealant to deter mice from chewing through.
- Cover Roof Vents and Chimneys
Some holes are meant to be there for ventilation and safety, so how can you stop pests from using them as an entrance?
The best way to protect vents and chimneys is to install a fine wire mesh. This should keep squirrels, rats, mice and pigeons out of your loft space.
- Make your home less appealing
Pests are less likely to break in if no food or water is laid out for them.
Keep your kitchen surfaces clean, and put food away promptly in cupboards in sealed containers. You should always wipe up crumbs from your dining table, and if you have kids who eat in their bedrooms, they must clear away plates, crumbs and packets.
Don’t forget pet bowls. After they have eaten, clear away leftovers, or you will provide a rat-sized snack.
Fix leaking taps to ensure you do not have a water source available.
One of the main problems is clutter. You could be unwittingly leaving around nesting material and hiding places for vermin. Rats and mice can breed quickly and cause an infestation before you have discovered their hiding place.
- Look After Your Rubbish
Inside your home, you should ensure you have a lidded bin for all food waste. Food waste left in open waste bins throughout the house is an invitation for pests.
Outside bins should be sealed properly and kept clean from spills that attract pests. Don’t leave bags of waste lying around, as vermin will chew through, and flies will be drawn to the smell.
Compost bins are great for the environment but ensure you have a lid and wire to keep unwanted pests out.
- Pigeon Proof your Roof
Once pigeons have found a place to roost, you risk them making a nest in your rafters. If pigeons are a problem, you can put netting or spikes around your roof to keep them away.
If you are concerned about pests entering your home, please get in touch with us at EWS Group. Our trained technicians will be happy to help remove pests and install preventative methods to keep them away.