Pest-Proofing Your Home – It’s worth the Effort
By Chris Williams on January 23, 2012.
The idea behind pest-proofing (or pest exclusion) is to keep pests out of a building, or to control the movement of pests within a building. Pest exclusion has been shown to be an effective control technique, especially for birds, rodents, and larger animals. Pest-proofing can provide permanent control in certain situations, if it’s done right. Proper pest-proofing eliminates or reduces the need for pesticides and other control measures.
But, there’s no doubt that pest-proofing is labor intensive. It involves everything from caulking cracks, screening vents and eaves, and sealing openings where pipes and utility lines enter homes, to installing metal kick plates on doors, installing PVC strip curtains in loading docks, and placing metal rodent guards on overhead pipes in commercial buildings.
Why pest-proof? There are three main objectives behind professional pest-proofing of homes and other buildings:
1) Pest exclusion – Sealing or screening all potential entry points into the building to keep pests from coming inside. These entry points range from very small openings that insects can use, to larger openings used by mice or bats, to even larger gaps that allow squirrels and raccoons into attics or chimneys.
2) Pest isolation – Pest-proofing inside the building to confine pests and keep them from moving into new areas. Compartmentalizing a building (like bulkheads do in a ship) isolates an infestation in one area, and makes pests easier to control. This type of pest-proofing is most common in apartments and commercial buildings.
3) Sealing pest hiding places – As hiding places (or harborage sites) are blocked or sealed off, your home becomes less attractive to pests. The pests that are present are then concentrated into fewer and fewer hiding places, also making them easier to control.
Pest-proofing isn’t just about mice. You can pest-proof against cockroaches, ants, flies, birds, bats, even larger animals like squirrels. In fact, the larger the pest, the easier the pest-proofing, because you only need to block larger openings. You’d be amazed at how small the openings are that allow some pests inside. To block German cockroaches, you need to seal all openings larger than 1/5 inch. A full grown mouse can squeeze through an opening that is only 2/5 inch, and a sparrow can get through any opening that is at least one inch in diameter.
Because pest-proofing can be time-consuming, many homeowners hire someone to do the job. At Colonial Pest, our technicians are experts at pest-proofing because they know pests! No matter what your pest problem, our techs know how to find and repair all cracks, crevices, and holes that the pests are using to get inside. We caulk, screen, repair vents, and install door sweeps, among other things. We use only high-quality, warranted materials that result in permanent repairs and fewer pest problems for you. Don’t call a building contractor; call a pest control professional to do the job!