Everyone wants a pest-free home, but many people are uncertain how to accomplish this. It is possible to avoid living in the cities with the biggest pest problem, but this is unlikely to help. Every state has a population of insects and rodents that want to share homes with their human neighbors. The only way to reduce the odds and keep a home safe from uninvited guests is to understand how they enter the home, and how to prevent that from happening.
Pests like rats, mice and squirrels are common intruders in attics. They love nesting in these places because they are usually dark, warm and free from people and predators. It is a safe place to raise their young, and it provides an instant resource for food and nesting supplies. Unfortunately, this usually means they are robbing pet food and scouring through food cupboards, as well as shredding anything stored in the attic to create their cozy bedding.
To avoid this, it is important to make it as difficult as possible to access the attic. Begin by inspecting the attic on the inside. With the lights out, look for any areas where light is entering. The smallest hole or crack can be an entryway for all kinds of pests. Seal these holes with caulking, wood or flashing. Seal up any gaps around plumbing lines, and sewer, dryer and air vents should be covered with a securely attached heavy-gauge wire screen.
Outside the home, cut back tree limbs that overhang the house or garage. This is the most common way pests reach the roof. Line guards are available that can prevent pests from using powerlines to access the roof. These are often only available through utility companies, and should only be installed by a professional. Another common highway for pests, in this case insects and rodents, are gutters. Install gutter guards to prevent this from happening. There are numerous types available. They are designed to stop leaves and debris from clogging the gutters, but they also stop pests while still allowing water to flow through.
Rodents are not just a little creepy, they are unhealthy and dangerous. Rodents can destroy wiring and insulation and chew through walls. They also spread a number of diseases that can be passed to pets and people. The little time required to make a home less likely to be at risk to rodent infestations is time well-spent. Even after the work is completed, it is always a good idea to be on the lookout for any signs of new activity.