If unwanted critters are waging war on your house, it’s time to fight back. Here are some effective pest-fighting strategies. We’ll give you tips about how to close the entryways that let critters in, and also how to evict them if they manage to get past your defenses.
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 doors, windows and basement sashes with adhesive-
backed weatherstripping. Clean the surface first
so the weatherstrip will adhere well.
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.
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.
Pull nests from the soffit gaps
and then fill these openings
with expanding foam. After the foam
hardens, cut off the excess with a
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.
Trim the foam flush using a utility knife after
allowing the foam to harden overnight. To trim off
a thicker section of foam, use an old steak knife.
when well placed, can be
an effective way to rid your
house of mice. Common mistakes are
poor placement of traps and
using too few of them. Place snap traps
along walls in areas where
you've seen the telltale
brown pellets. The best technique is to
set two traps, parallel to
the wall, with the triggers
facing out. While mice can
jump over one trap, they
can't jump two. Favorite
baits of professional exterminators
syrup and peanut butter.
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.
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
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.
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.
Tidy up under the kitchen sink. Store items in a
caddy so you can easily clear out the cabinet for
cleaning and inspection. Self-adhesive tiles provide
an easy-to-clean surface.
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.
Copyright © 2013 The Family Handyman. All Rights Reserved.