8 Essential Pest Control Tips for Fall
The cool chill of fall is here. Halloween and Thanksgiving are just around the corner, but so are bugs—and they just can’t wait to get into your home. While summer pest control is more about weekly maintenance and daily prevention, fall pest control is about safeguarding your home from the dozens of pests now hoping to move indoors. Don’t want a bunch of nasty new insect roommates? Follow these 8 tips to keep your home bug-free this fall.
1. CLEAN AND DECLUTTER INSIDE
Ants, fleas, flies, termites, roaches, mosquitoes—all seek shelter indoors as temperatures drop. Follow these simple preventative measures to help keep bugs out of your home this fall:
- Keep your home clean and free of clutter—particularly the garage, attic, basement, kitchen, closets, all flooring, window sills and counter tops.
- Items you don’t plan on using for the season should be organized and sealed in airtight plastic storage containers (cardboard boxes attract many pests).
- Seal or get rid of stacks of magazines and other paper: bugs like silverfish and cockroaches are attracted to the smell of paper.
- Seal all food in tightly closed containers. Keep all food storage areas free of crumbs and food residues (Tip: Wipe off all jam, sauce and honey containers, too).
- Never leave food remains or dirty dishes in the sink.
- Take out the trash regularly, and keep all trash cans clean and sealed.
- Most bugs are prone to moisture loss and enter our homes to seek water and cool down. It’s important to remove standing water and other sources of moisture, such as leaky plumbing, basements, crawl spaces and A/C units (do this outside, too!).
- Do not store lumber or firewood inside or right outside your home. Doing so attracts various types of bugs, including termites. Keep all woodpiles at least 20 ft. away from your home, and elevated if possible.
2. CLEAN AND DECLUTTER OUTSIDE
Keeping a well-maintained and organized yard goes a long way toward keeping bugs out of your home as autumn approaches. Here’s what you need to do:
- Remove all clutter from your yard: woodpiles, yard equipment, brush, leaves, lawn clippings, tree stumps, unused dog houses, furniture, tires, and anything else that could collect water (moisture attracts nearly all pests).
- Engage in landscaping practices that expose your lawn to as much sunlight as possible (by trimming branches, tall grass, shrubbery, etc). Direct sunlight is lethal to many pests.
- Many types of bugs need vegetation to hide, so we suggest regularly mowing, edging, weed eating, raking, and trimming the hedges until greenery begins to die for the season.
- When mowing, bag the clippings and promptly dispose of them. Do not disperse them throughout your yard—doing so helps create a bug-friendly environment, especially for ticks.
- Change and clean bird bath water regularly, or empty entirely during mosquito season.
- Fix leaky hoses, faucets, sprinklers, A/C units, and clogged drainage areas to prevent pooling water
- Keep pools well-maintained
- Regularly check and clean pool covers and other tarps—these often hold water, attracting bugs.
- Seal all trash cans, dumpsters and compost areas.
- Clean out your gutters. As leaves begin to drop in fall, gutters can easily become clogged, leading to moisture buildup, which attracts pests.
3. SEAL YOUR HOME (both indoors and outdoors)
With cold weather approaching, fall is often your final chance to seal your home’s exterior. Because most insects—and bug-carrying pests like mice—require only the smallest openings to enter our homes, this step is absolutely crucial to keeping your home pest-free this autumn. Checking both inside and outside, use caulk, cement or another suitable material to fill all cracks and holes.
Check the following: Baseboards, window sills, doorways, light switches, outlets, fixtures, vents, basements, roofing, utility lines, piping, attics, faucets, walls, and foundations. Screens or seals should also be used to ensure windows and doorways remain firmly closed. Make sure to repair or replace any damaged screens or seals you come across. For additional protection, consider installing a rubber seal at the base of your garage door, and weather stripping on any sliding doors in the home. Open drains can also be sealed using fine metal mesh or stoppers.
4. INSTALL A CHIMNEY CAP
In addition to shutting out bugs, installing a chimney cap will help keep rodents, birds, bats and other insect-carrying hosts out of your home. This is important, because as the weather cools wild animals will look to enter your home in search of warm shelter.
5. CHOOSE DECORATIONS WISELY
Decorations come into play as we move through fall to the holiday season. Unfortunately, organic decorations like carved pumpkins, straw bales, wreaths, and garlands provide a food source and home for many pests.
Going artificial with your Thanksgiving and Halloween decorations is one way to avoid this. Otherwise, it’s important to be diligent with upkeep as far as natural decorations go: you’ll need to check them every other day or so for signs of infestation (Tip: Check decorations before bringing them inside your home, too, as insects can ride these items directly into your house).
6. USE PLANT-BASED INDOOR PESTICIDES
As fall approaches, it’s important to make your home unappetizing to insects interested in moving indoors. Here's how to do it:
First, before reaching for a can of bug spray to kill indoor bugs take a moment to consider the possible consequences. Traditional indoor bug sprays can fill your home with toxic chemicals, resulting in serious health complications for your family and pets—but not Cedarcide.
Whenever you spot bugs inside—like in your cabinets, on flooring, or countertops—simply spray them with family-safe Cedarcide All-Purpose Bug Spray for an instant kill.
To help prevent bugs from moving indoors or returning, spray common bug problem areas and entry points like countertops, windowsills, doorways, baseboards, pet spaces, etc weekly with Cedarcide All-Purpose Bug Spray.
7. TREAT YOURSELF AND YOUR ETS
Pets and people are a common vehicle for bugs to enter our homes—even in fall. Before and after going outdoors for walks, hikes, dog park visits, etc, it’s important to guard yourself and your pets against biting bugs like fleas and ticks (always check your pets for ticks, too!).
8. USE NON-TOXIC OUTDOOR PESTICIDES
Making your yard inhospitable to pests will greatly reduce the number of bugs you find indoors during the fall months. Here’s how to do it:
Start by spraying your entire lawn and all shrubbery with PCO Choice monthly to both kill and repel unwanted bugs. If this is your first time applying for the year, apply twice the first month, two weeks apart. For warmer regions, applications should be done every month unless the temperature drops below freezing for more than a few weeks. If you live in an area known for cold winters, start spraying monthly in late February and then taper off in November as winter sets in.
For additional pest prevention, spread Cedar Granules throughout your yard, especially along your home’s foundation and those areas with the most bug traffic.
No downtime required! Because PCO Choice is non-toxic, you, your family and pets can safely enjoy your lawn immediately after application.