Almost every homeowner has had to battle pets at one point or another. Whether the problem is mice coming in from the cold or flies suddenly appearing overnight, household pests can be more than just a nuisance - they're a sure sign that your home's exterior has been breached. Even if you've only seen a single mouse or a few flies, you can be sure that there are more on the way. It's important to take steps to prevent pests from getting into your home before you start seeing the telltale signs that you've got some unwanted house guests.
How do mice get into homes?
Mice are some of the most common household pests, but it's not always clear how they're getting into your home. Mice usually start appearing once the outside temperatures fall and they begin to seek a warm place to shelter over the winter months. They usually enter homes through cracks and holes in walls, floors and foundations, though they can also come in through gaps in windows or even through drain lines.
Most homeowners do not recognize a mouse hole or potential mouse hole until there are signs of infestation. Because of the way that a mouse's body is shaped, it can fit through a hole that appears far too small for anything to crawl through.
Where do mice hide?
Mice are opportunists and will typically choose to hide near a food source, so look for them in kitchens, pantries and basements. They're also known to be attracted to unattended pet food dishes and garbage cans. They'll choose hiding places that are dark, warm and out-of-the-way, such as under or inside of furniture, inside walls and even in cabinets. At night, when it's dark and the house is quiet, the mice will emerge from their hiding places to look for food.
How do flies get in the house?
Mice aren't your only household pests. Flies are a common complaint, particularly during the warm weather when their numbers can increase dramatically seemingly overnight. Whether you're suffering from an invasion of houseflies or fruit flies, you may be wondering how the annoying pests got into your house in the first place.
Fruit flies can come in on produce bought at the grocery store and traditional houseflies can be found buzzing outdoors during the warm winter months, seeking entry through gaps in windows or flying inside when a door is opened. Once inside, any breed of fly can lay eggs in your home, leading to a rapid increase in the number of flies in your home.
How can you prevent pests from getting inside?
They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Stopping pests from getting indoors is always preferred over attempting to exterminate them once they're already inside. For mice, sealing up cracks, gaps and holes, particularly around drainage pipes and near the base of your home, can prevent the rodents from making it inside. For flies and insects, it's important to look for potential entry points and to seal them. Look for gaps around windows or doors or for breaks in window screens. Seal gaps near windows, add sweeps to the bottom of doors and have any broken window screens repaired immediately. Keeping floors swept and eliminating potential food sources can also help keep pests out.
If you're struggling to prevent pests from getting inside, you might want to consider calling in a professional. Trained pest control technicians can help identify weaknesses in your home and help keep unwanted house guests at bay.