Mind the Gaps and Seal the Cracks
Insects typically aren’t out to get you. Most bugs are simply looking for shelter from the cold, a source of food and water, and a warm, dark place to spend the winter. Yet despite insects’ lack of malice, we’re not exactly overjoyed to find silverfish in our sink or spiders in our closet.
Most pest-control experts will tell you that keeping insects out of your home in the first place is more than half the battle. To do this, you need to make a single-minded effort to seal all gaps and cracks in your home’s exterior and interior.
As well, it’s important to eliminate excess moisture, especially in basements, attics, bathrooms, and kitchens, and to remove potential food sources by sealing all garbage, storing food in airtight containers, and being careful not to leave any food out. But even these tried-and-true methods won’t keep your home safe from all of the pesky fall invaders, especially these 10 tenacious houseguests.
Watch Out About That Mulch!
A common worry for homeowners is the threat that a layer of mulch applied next to a house foundation might draw termites (Isoptera). It is a worry that spawns several different questions. Unhappily, not all experts agree on the answers to all of these questions. But if you wish to use mulch near your foundation and are unsure as to how to proceed, the best short answer is:
- To be on the safe side, leave a 1-foot-wide swath of ground mulch-free all along your foundation and make sure door and window frames do not touch the mulch. (Also, keep the ground here as dry as you can).
- Outside of this mulch-free zone, apply mulch (as people often do to suppress weeds in their foundation plantings), but limit its depth to just a few inches, and inspect it vigilantly for termites.