Sealing Your Home Exterior

Prevent Pests From Getting Inside

Sealing The Exterior of Your Home

You'll be surprised at the high number of places where pests gain entry into your home, restaurant or business. Some insects and spiders only need an opening the thickness of a credit card. Mice can squeeze their way through a gap the size of a nickel. Once they make their way inside it will be difficult to evict them. Lock those pests out now.

Lock Pests Out of Your Home or Business

You can do this yourself, or hire a professional. Many pest control firms offer home-sealing services as part of its pest control management plan. Fixing many problems are relatively easy and affordable while others can be be costly. However, every crack, crevice and entry that is sealed will reduce the potential of internal pest infestation.

If You Do It Yourself

Grab a pen and pad. Put on your old clothes and a pair of gloves since you'll be slithering around bushes, climbing a ladder and crawling in dirt. Tape a mirror to the end of a broom stick to check hidden places. When you discover quick-fixes, you'll need a caulking gun, a can of quick-drying putty, hammer and nails and some fine mesh screen.

Carry a screw driver to poke around. A good idea is having a can of insect spray in case you run into a black widow spider or scorpion. If you find major issues you can't correct, make a note and mark the spot with a piece of colored tape to make it easier to find later.

This will likely be more than a one day job. Start with the roof, then walls, foundation, and under porches and decks. This is a good time to also check the general condition of your home, restaurant or building. No crevice is too small to repair since you are protecting against rats, mice, cockroaches and the smallest of insects. So plan a pattern of direction and check every square foot.

Time To Begin Your Search

Your target attention is cracks, crevices, and voids around anything that enters the home, restaurant or building such as pipes, conduit, vents and poor construction workmanship that has left gaps and openings that permit pests to enter from the outside. When the outside is done, repeat the same process inside.

Roofs and Eaves

There many places and ways insect pests, spiders, scorpions and mice can enter your home from rooftops and bad joints under eaves and roof overhangs. Look for tree branches that touch your roof. Not only could limbs cause roof damage, but can provide pests a way around ground level pesticide barriers. Things to check include the following:

  • Caulking around exhaust vents. Put fine mesh screens on outlets of vents. Roof rats and mice can get through open exhaust vents.
  • Check for openings around fireplace chimneys and roof mounted air conditioning units. Evaporative coolers are particularly vulnerable due to moist pads and large opening to cooling ducts.
  • Look for missing shingles, wood rot or evidence of termite tubes.
  • Look for exhaust holes under roof overhangs that are open to attic space. Those may require fine mesh screens covers to prevent entry.

Walls and Foundation

Inspect walls from the foundation to the roof line. Pay close attention to where walls meet foundations and areas under roof overhangs. While searching for pest entry points, check for evidence of wood-rot, loose siding and evidence of termite tubes.

  • Caulk or fill voids around electrical conduit. plumbing pipes, vents, phone lines, cabling, air conditioning or condensation lines dripping from rooftop units.
  • Inspect for gaps around windows, doors and garage doors. These may need new molding and door sweeps.
  • Make sure garage doors are sealed best they can be.
  • Check all vents including "breathing" vents from basements and crawl spaces. Cover them with fine mesh screens.
  • Look for cracks in plaster, bricks, stonework and mortar joints.
  • Check for foundation cracks and openings where walls meet the foundation.
  • Repair torn window screens.

Helpful Hint

During your search for openings, consider taking a squeeze bottle of Boric Acid Dust. It is a very safe insecticide in powder form. It is not much more toxic than regular table salt, yet is a slow-acting, proven killer of cockroaches and other insects.

As you discover cracks and crevices, "puff" a light coating inside the crack or crevice. Insects will take the powder back to nests where all their buddies will be infected. Read more about boric acid.

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This page was last modified on 16 September 2012 at 10:57