It’s autumn and Iowans are starting to discover some uninvited guests in their homes, the types with six or eight legs. Spiders, ants and all sorts of other creepy-crawlers are looking for a warm place to spend the winter. Steve Tonn, an extension educator, says a little work on your house could fend off the insect invasion.
“Seal any cracks or crevices around the foundation, doors, windows will help to prevent pests from entering our home,” Tonn says. Some bugs can fit through an eighth-inch crack, so he says circling your home with a two-foot border of pest repellent may do the trick.
“There are some pesticides that you can spray around the outside of your home to make a barrier,” Tonn says. “They’ll work to some degree.” If mice are the problem, laying traps isn’t enough.
“Eliminating any types of food sources for them, keeping the lids on trash cans and eliminating any entry sources for them is the first step,” he says.
Tonn says inspecting your foundation for cracks, spaces under doors and basement window wells can also help. As with bugs, he says mice can squeeze through incredibly small spaces.
They may come around pipes, around the foundation so using some type of sealant, a foam around any of those types of entry places,” he says. Lady beetles, crickets, clover mites and box elder bugs are the most common unwanted pests during fall.