What are some practical steps people can take to prevent pests?
Vinyl siding should fit snuggly at the base, or it not, use 4 to 6 inch wide section of galvanized wire lath, folded lengthwise, and slipped under separation at the bottom so that the fold of the lath faces downward, and the entire body is pushed upward to fill in the separation. Sometimes a screw is needed to hold lath in place. If creating a mouse barrier, the lath alone will do the exclusion job. If insects such as earwigs are to be excluded, low pressure foam can be introduced to fill in the lath as a proper sealing agent.
Keep drain filled with water to prevent sewer gas from the main sanitary line, and to keep pests from egress from the municipal sewer system such as centipedes, American, oriental, or Australian roaches. In addition certain flies will enter the home via the sewer, and drains filled above the p-trap can be a good practice. Pouring a tablespoon of petroleum on the water will help to slow down evaporation, and also destroy emerging larvae that may find their way to the trap where eggs were laid in the sewer line.
Place stored lumber upon a platform made of cinder or cement blocks with the holes facing horizontally not on the vertical. Do not allow untreated wood to contact soil because the wood may attract termites.
Compost piles should be placed a distance from garage or house. Such organic material becomes attractive to many invertebrates that can become home invaders. Examples are phorid flies, and earwigs to name several.
Remove juniper or arborvitae bushes that grow close to the foundation wall of the home. These are excellent hiding places for mice, rats, chipmunks, and mosquitoes as examples of undesirable critters. Rather plant shrubs or flowering perennials that provide beauty, while not crowding the foundation walls.
Keep the gutters free of leaves so as not to create breeding grounds for insect pests. While checking the roof, protect the chimney from bats, birds, squirrels, and raccoons, by using proper screening as a barrier. If the fireplace is regularly used, get a professional to do the installation because one does not want to destroy the draft movement upward.
Examine vents. The baffles are often stuck in the open position, whereby birds can nest within the ducts. Starlings will lift the baffles, and often stuff them to keep them open for their nesting purposes.
Openings below concrete stoops allow snake havens, chipmunk, skunk, and mouse harborages. Decks can be an invitation to possum, skunk, raccoon, and mouse, chipmunk or rat harborages. Again, use galvanized wire lath. Dig a trench around the deck’s perimeter. Cut sheets of galvanized wire, cut so that the long size is vertical to the trench, and the bottom side folded to a ninety degree at about 8 to 10 inches, the fold facing inward. Refill the trench so as to bury the folded bottom (skirt); secure top of the lath to the deck.
Chicago Pest Control Exterminator
American Pest Solutions