Even as summer starts to wind down, the activity of outdoor pests remains high. Hot temperatures, summer storms and the like all encourage insects and rodents to try and find their way into your nice cool home.

To keep them out, here’s a list of 5 things to do, and one big DON’T.

5. Never give a free meal

Crumbs on the floor, ripe fruit on the counter, spilled pet food. All of these are free meals to summer pests. Keeping your house clean is the most important way to keep it pest free.

4. Block the Way

We lock our doors for a reason, to keep unwanted persons from entering our homes. Don’t leave openings for bugs and rodents to find their way in too. Dr. Bobby Corrigan, a pest control expert, notes that if a No. 2 pencil can fit into a hole or crack, a mouse can fit through. If a mouse can fit through, so can all kinds of bugs. Replace worn weather stripping, caulk openings, and otherwise repair cracks and crevices.

3. No free drinks either

Just as you don’t want to leave food lying around for bugs, don’t leave water either. Standing water can be a breeding ground for mosquitos and harbor bacteria or parasites. Even if you don’t have standing pools of water but suffer regular leaks, this can attract certain pests. Keeping your home dry will ward off many pests.

2. More mowing, less problems

Insects and rodents love overgrown lawns and grasslands. The more of their natural habitat you allow to form near your home, the more likely they are to make the leap indoors. Keep your grass mowed and your hedges trimmed.

1. Be vigilant

Check for signs of infestation. Many pests have evolved to sneak around and avoid detection, but they all leave evidence. Rats and mice leave evidence of nesting, and many insects leave telltale droppings. Do your research, and if you find a problem…

DON’T tackle it alone. Pest control requires traps and chemicals that can be dangerous to untrained users. Often, trying to address an issue alone will cost time and money, and a professional will be needed anyway.

If you find signs that summer pests have invaded your home, call an expert pest control service for help.

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