Mice, termites, and other creepy-crawlies have no place in your new home, so it’s best to take steps to pest-proof your house before you move in. Whether it’s closing off their entry points or ensuring there aren’t attractants lying about, here are seven easy tips for making sure it’s only you moving into your home — no bugs or little furry critters invited.
1. Clean the house really well
Mice and bugs love dirty corners and dingy basements. Do a really thorough clean of every little corner in the house, including the basement, before you start to pile your boxes into your new home. If there has been a lot of activity due to remodeling or if the house sat vacant for a significant period of time, consider hiring a professional cleaning company to do a deep scrub.
2. Clean up the yard
Mice and voles love wood piles, unkempt gardens, and yard debris. Clear away the ground next to the house foundation, move wood piles as far from the house as possible, and clean up space under the deck to eliminate hiding spaces that could harbor pests.
3. Seal up possible entry points, or reinforce existing barriers
In order to become a problem, pests need to have a way in. Do your diligence to locate, seal up, and caulk holes, cracks, and crevices where mice and bugs can enter and hide. Use wire mesh or metal sheeting to seal rodent holes so they can’t chew through, and use synthetic caulking for cracks or small spaces around plumbing or at the joints between walls, doors, and so on.
4. Inspect and fix your roof and attic crawl space
Squirrels love to find their way in through vents and gaps along the edges of the roof. Determined squirrels and mice won’t hesitate to make a small hole bigger! Make sure shingling is all intact, all vents are blocked with thick wire mesh, and cap your chimney to ensure unlucky squirrels don’t find their way in.
5. Trim tree limbs that are close to the house
Do you want a squirrel highway to your roof? We don’t. If you have a tall house, hire a professional arborist to come and trim branches in a way that will keep the tree healthy and attractive while eliminating those easy access points for the squirrels you’d prefer to keep out of your attic.
6. Check all of your items before you bring them inside
Hopefully, when you were packing your bedding, boxing up your pots and pans, and sorting through the items from the garage, you made sure you were careful not to let any hitchhikers in. But when purchasing new items, especially second-hand, make sure you’re diligent to look for signs of bedbugs, roaches, or termites in wooden furniture. Any boxes that have been packed away in the attic for a while prior to the move should always be inspected to make sure they haven’t become someone’s home – that’s a major packing mistake to avoid!
7. If need be, hire pest control to fumigate
If you’re concerned that there could already be pests in your new home, hire a quality company to fumigate. The best way to prepare to fumigate your new home? Have the process completed before you move in. Ask a potential exterminator plenty of questions before they enter your home, including what their process is like, what types of chemicals they use, if there is any risk to children or pets, and how long your home will need to be vacant before it is safe for you to move in. Keep this as your last-ditch effort to avoid harsh chemicals and possible fumes!