As the weather gets cooler and the leaves change colors, everyone is spending more time indoors.  This goes for the creepy crawly things too.  If you give bugs and pests a doorway, food, and water, they will find a way to make themselves at home.  Living in Missouri, you will likely encounter ants, mosquitos, spiders, centipedes, millipedes, termites, beetles, crickets, earwigs, roaches, silverfish, wasps, ticks, fleas, moles/voles, and mice.

In addition to being a nuisance, some pests can make you sick or cause dangerous bites.  The good news is that there’s a lot you can do to send them a message that they are not welcome guests.

Clean Your House

Most bugs are looking for a food source, and they will find crumbs anywhere.  Even if you are neat, you will inevitably drop a scrap or two.  A thorough cleaning can be helpful.  Wipe counters, sweep floors, vacuum carpets, and anywhere you sit to eat or drink.

Store food properly when you are not using it for preparation or eating.  Stored product pests love flour, rice, cereal, nuts, and pet food, so transfer those items from their paper containers to sealable containers. Rinse and wash dishes promptly.  Rinse out the juicer and coffee maker.  And I know that fresh fruit bowl looks great sitting on the table, but it can attract flies.  Dispose of scraps in a covered trash bin or in the compost pile right away.  Clean your sinks and drains regularly to keep them from becoming breeding grounds.

Cleaning is not just for the kitchen or dining room.  Insects aren’t picky where they eat, so give your whole house a once-over.

If you have a water drip anywhere, it’s a magnet for silverfish and centipedes.  Check your pipes and fix leaks.  Wipe up water spills immediately.  Check basements, bathrooms, and attics for damp spaces.

Stacks of boxes and newspapers can become an inviting home for cockroaches, so regularly send those items to the recycler.  Even just clearing up clutter will give bugs less room to hide and scare you.

Make Needed Repairs

Any tiny cracks and spaces in your screens, windows, and doors are places for critters to come in.  Add or replace worn weatherstripping around doors.  Door sweeps and thresholds are also effective.   Replace or patch screens; consider replacing them if they are not 20 mesh or finer.  If bugs can still get through the mesh, keep windows and doors closed.  If you are considering replacing your doors, choose self-closing ones.  Caulk or fill any holes you can find. Add mesh to crawl spaces, chimneys, and roof vents to prevent rodents, squirrels, bats, or birds from getting in.

Check your Pets

Insects inevitably hitch a ride with your pets while they are outdoors, so wash and or brush them regularly.  Dogs and cats can bring fleas and ticks into your home.  The fleas get in your carpet and furniture and wreak havoc.  Check your pets for pests regularly.  Wash them with a medicated shampoo, and don’t forget the flea treatments or collars.

On the other hand, if you have a rodent problem, your cat or dog can be excellent pest control.  Some cats are great mousers, and some dogs go after those voles.  Make sure your pets are up to date on their shots and have taken a de-wormer to keep them healthy.

Don’t Forget the Outdoors

If you’ve found bugs in the backyard, they can breed pests that will then migrate into your home.  Pests can hitch a ride on firewood, so check for bugs before you bring it in for your fireplace.  Landscaping too close to your walls and foundation can give insects a close route to an upper window.  Clear leaves and dead vegetation from near your home.  Mow and trim your lawn one last time.

Mosquitos breed in standing water, so make sure water isn’t accumulating in buckets or holes.  Plants that you move indoors to protect them from an early frost can also have different insects.  Make sure your trash cans are emptied each week and cleaned periodically.  Clean up anything that can bring animals to your home – slash piles, construction debris, etc.

Inspect Your Home

Learn to recognize the signs of insect and rodent activity such as tunnels, webs, droppings, chewed on packages or fibers, or exoskeletons.  Treating a termite infestation can be a big problem if they get into your walls.  In addition to storing firewood away from the walls of your home, get regular inspections and treatments if you are vulnerable.  Check your roof, siding, and trim – make repairs before the snow falls.

Go on the Offense Against Bugs

As soon as you see a nuisance bug, kill it.  If you don’t, they will multiply, and one bug will become a lot more very quickly.  You can smash them, trap them, use natural means, or spray them.  Whatever method you choose, make sure it’s safe for your pets and kids.  If you see a nest or the numbers seem overwhelming, call an expert to get them under control.

There are Good Bugs

Don’t freak out over every insect you see.  Certain spiders, ladybugs, and beetles actually eat other bugs and provide benefits to soil and plants.  An expert can teach you which ones not to worry so much about.  On the other hand, if you see an infestation, take measures to keep even the good bugs under control.

Bring in the Experts

Call in a pest control expert if you’ve done all of the above steps and pests are still causing you grief.  They can point out things that you may have missed and recommend treatments.  They’ll also know the breeding cycle of insects and can get them where they nest.  Realize that all insects do not respond to the same treatment; an expert can pinpoint which solution will work for your particular problem.  Going on the offensive will prevent more significant issues down the road.

McCarthy Pest & Termite Control for Local Pest Prevention

If it’s time to call in an expert, choose McCarthy Pest & Termite Control. As a third-generation pest control company, we know bugs! We will develop a unique pest control plan that is best for your Missouri home or business. And our services are 100% guaranteed.

If you have pest issues between regularly scheduled visits, we’ll return and re-treat at no cost to you. Your home will always be serviced by a friendly and knowledgeable exterminator who can answer all of your questions. Protect your home from uninvited pests during the fall and winter seasons – call us today!