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10 Ways Your Home Attracts PestsPosted May 19, 2022

Pests are a year-round issue, but warmer weather makes it more likely and a greater variety of problematic pests. Luckily, knowing what attracts pests to your home and taking corrective measures can help protect your home from pests.

The short version is that insects and rodents are looking for the same thing we do – food, water, shelter, and protection from weather. While we’re going to list other specifics, most of them will boil down to one or more of those four factors.

Why Are Pests Attracted To My Home?

1. Overgrown yards

Hectic schedules can make it hard to keep up with landscaping and yard maintenance, but it’s very important for deterring pest infestations. A variety of insects – including ticks – can hide in overgrown grass (as well as mice).

Also, avoid planting bushes and trees too close to your home and keep them trimmed so they don’t touch the house. A minimum of a six-inch gap between the house and foliage is best.

2. Clogged gutters

Rain gutters filled with leaves and debris prevent water from draining properly. Pooled water can then attract pests as well as back up onto roofs, causing structural damage. Left untreated, it’s even possible for rats or mice to enter through a crack. Plant material left in gutters can even attract birds to nest there.

3. Poorly sealed garbage

Indoors or out, make sure all trash cans have tight fitting lids that you keep closed. The same goes for recycling bins (and make sure to rinse recyclable food containers before tossing them in the bin).

If losing the lids on trash pickup day is a concern, tie the lids to the cans or use garbage receptacles with attached lids that flip up and down. Tie garbage bags tightly. If raccoons are active in your area, consider a weight or frame to keep the clever creatures from opening the lids.

4. Pet doors and pet food

The pet door that allows your dog or cat to enter and leave on their own is practically an invitation for insects and rodents to do the same. You may think you’ll notice if they do but, in reality, it’s impossible to watch all the time.

Feeding your pets outside is also setting out the welcome mat for unwanted pests – rodents love pet food and insects do, too. Your four-legged companion can also transmit fleas, mites, and other tiny critters they picked up outside… which are then brought into your home.

5. Outdoor lighting

If you use regular outdoor light bulbs, they’ll attract hundreds and even thousands of bugs while they’re on. This is due to the wavelength and temperature of the bulbs. That means pesky insects will be right at the door when you go in and out, making it easy for them to enter. Substitute “bug lights” instead. This type of bulb uses a portion of the light spectrum that’s less attractive to insects.

6. Wet basements

Regardless of the reason for the leak, a wet basement can be a haven for bugs, rodents, and other types of pests. Fix foundation cracks as soon as you find them, correct any issues with grading and downspouts, so water doesn’t pool at the foundation, install a “sump pump” if necessary, and fix cracked windows to ensure your basement stays dry.

7. Dirty dishes

The tiniest crumb, smear of gravy, sticky stain, and so forth can feed bugs… so dirty dishes in the sink or on the counter are a feast for pests. Soaking the dishes doesn’t help since water attracts them, too. Wash dishes and pans as soon as possible, so you don’t draw pests.

8. Dirty grills

People usually remember to clean up the yard after a party but can easily forget to clean the grill. Just like dirty dishes can attract bugs, so can grills and grill racks with stuck-on food, grease, etc.

9. Produce on the counter

Even though chefs and food experts say that some fruits and vegetables do best when stored outside the refrigerator… that bowl of fruit, tomato ripening on the windowsill, and bunch of bananas hanging in a basket can attract pests just like your dirty dishes can.

10. Firewood

Always store firewood off the ground and at least 50 feet away because it can attract termites and carpenter ants. It’s also good to give the wood a quick visual inspection before bringing it into the house. That won’t be a perfect remedy against accidentally carrying bugs into the house with the wood, but it will lower the risk. Just bring in the wood you’re planning to burn immediately and toss it on the fire right away, and go out for more as needed, for best results.

Fox Pest Control Can Help Protect Your Property

Fox Pest Control can provide the peace of mind you need. Whether you’re worried about an active infestation or are looking for preventative treatments, our expert technicians can help. Let the team at Fox handle all your pest prevention and treatment needs. To get started, contact us today.

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