When the temperature starts to drop and rain begins to pour in earnest, it is not uncommon for pests to seek shelter in our homes. Whether in the basement or our kitchen cabinets, it can be very useful to make sure you keep an eye out for the warning signs of an infestation and know how to respond appropriately.
Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home including entry points for utilities and pipes.
Keep tree branches and shrubbery well trimmed and away from the house.
Keep basements, attics, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
Repair fascia and rotted roof shingles; some insects are drawn to deteriorating wood.
Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
Store fire wood at least 20 feet away from the house and five inches off the ground.
Call a qualified pest professional for additional advice and treatment if necessary.
And, if you have to look for a pest control professional, keep these tips in mind:
Evaluate pest control professionals and companies that are members of national, state or local pest management associations.
Ask friends and neighbors to recommend pest control companies they have used successfully and how satisfied they were with the service.
Always deal with a qualified and licensed pest management company. Consider asking to see the license or other credentials of the pest control professional that comes to solve your pest problem.
If a sizable amount of money is involved, get bids from several pest management companies.
Don't rush a decision. Since you are paying for professional knowledge as well as skillful application of pesticides, look for someone whose judgment you can trust.
Before signing a contract, be sure to fully understand the nature of the household pest to be exterminated, the extent of the infestation, and the work necessary to solve the problem.
Find out if the pest control company has liability insurance to cover any damages to your house or furnishings during treatment.
If a guarantee is given, know what it covers, how long it lasts, what you must do to keep it in force, and what kind of continuing control, prevention and management are necessary.
Buy value, not price. Beware of companies that offer bargains that sound too good to be true.
Be wary of companies that comes to your home uninvited and offers to give your house a free inspection for pests. They may try to scare you into authorizing immediate and costly treatments.
Homeowners can call state pest control regulatory agencies for information regarding the status of pest management companies. In most states the regulatory agency is the State Department of Agriculture.