The fall is a lot of fun and certainly a time of year many look forward to after a blazingly hot summer. The incoming chilly weather, beautiful foliage, and fun holiday parties all take center stage for the new season. That being said, this season is not all fun and games—fall critters are back again. Don’t let this year’s onslaught of creeping bugs and clever rodents ruin your fall holidays, though. Keep those pesky critters out of sight and out of mind with these easy tips.

Keeping out the Rodents

small brown rat in bathroomWhen fall arrives, the drop in outdoor temperatures will send squirrels, rats, mice, and opossums alike scurrying to find shelter in your house. Here are some easy ways to keep your home protected.

Get protected with poison. One way to protect your home from rats and mice is to use poisons. It’s important to keep in mind that if your home is already infested, you run the risk having to deal with dead rodents in your walls, attic, and basement, so it may be best to refrain from using poisons unless you’re dealing with an outdoor pest problem. If you decide to go this route, seal up any holes or gaps in windows and doors and around pipes or vents to keep the critters from coming inside, and consult a professional to determine which poisons will work best for the pests you’re dealing with.

Try traps. Poison may work well for a rat or mouse problem, but for squirrels and opossums, it may be better to use a trap. Traps are more humane than poisons because they ensnare rodents alive, but be sure to check the traps regularly so you don’t leave a defenseless animal to starve. If you want to keep your critters alive and well so they can be relocated away from your property, try the non-lethal route.

If you decide to use traps, you will need to consult a pest control professional about any local regulations that govern the use of traps in your area. A pest professional can help you make sure you’re in compliance with the law. In the end, always heed professional advice, but use the option that works best for you.

Barricading from the Bugs

insect on green leafRodents are bad, but bugs can be worse—spiders and insects are going to be crawling into your home’s every open crevice to find respite from the cold. Keep the bugs at bay with these four tips:

  1. Keep food stored away. Perhaps the most vital tip on this list—and one of the easiest things you can do—is to keep food away from places where pests could access it. Leaving food outdoors or easily accessible indoors is one of the easiest ways to receive uninvited guests. Store your food off the floor and in sealed containers.

  2. Keep things airtight.  Unsurprisingly, the front door is a common entry point for bugs. Keep your home protected by making sure your doors are properly sealed; it may be time to replace the weather stripping around your door if there are any cracks. This tip applies around the house as well—make sure the seals on all of your vents and windows are still functional in order to keep out those pesky insects.

  3. Dim your outdoor lights. Bugs are drawn to light like metal to a magnet. If you have outdoor lights, make sure to change the bulbs to something less attractive to the insects. Yellow bug lights are a nifty alternative to standard lightbulbs—they emit a low-frequency light that is less visible to bugs.

  4. Maintain the garden. If you have a garden, prune the stems and leaves of your plants away from the house. If your plants grow too close to the house, they may act as a bridge for bugs. Experts suggest keeping your vegetation at least one and a half feet from your home.

Once your lights are changed, your traps are set, and your food is tucked away, you’re all set to enjoy the cool weather without dealing with pests. Stay in contact with a pest control professional and utilize these tips and tricks for a pest-free fall.