Want to prevent mice, spiders and other pests from getting into your home? Step up your lines of defense with these effective pest-fighting strategies.
Inspect the area below your siding
Inspect the underside of your siding using a mirror. If you find a gap, mark the location with masking tape so you can seal it later.
Seal entrances with weatherstripping
Seal doors, windows and basement sashes with adhesive- backed weatherstripping. Clean the surface first so the weatherstrip will adhere well.
Check the condition of the damper
Examine dryer vents to ensure the damper isn’t stuck open or broken off completely. Also check that the seal between the vent and the wall is tight.
Use acrylic latex caulk to fill gaps
Fill gaps between trim and siding with acrylic latex caulk. Keep a wet cloth handy to clean up any stray caulk. Smooth the bead with a wet finger.
Fill soffit openings with expanding foam
Pull nests from the soffit gaps and then fill these openings with expanding foam. After the foam hardens, cut off the excess with a utility knife.
Use copper scrubbing pads to fill gaps
Stuff in a generous amount of copper mesh with a screwdriver, leaving about half an inch of space for expanding foam sealant. Seal gaps with foam.
Keep mulch and soil away from foundations
Rake moisture-wicking soil and mulch away from the window frames and low wood. Turn your mulch periodically to help keep dampness down, and keep bushes trimmed back as well.
Dehumidify and clean up cobwebs
You can virtually eliminate spiders in your basement by using a dehumidifier to maintain a 40 percent humidity level and vigilantly sweeping down cobwebs whenever they appear. Keep the basement window sills brushed clean too. In a matter of weeks, the spider population will die down significantly.
Use metal or plastic containers to store food
Store pet food in a lidded metal trashcan, as mice cannot climb the slick, vertical sides of the can. Sealed plastic containers are also a good option.
Hunt for mouse droppings periodically
Store items off the floor on wire rack shelving to prevent moisture from collecting underneath. Look for mouse droppings and other evidence of infestation with a flashlight and mirror.