Posted May 12, 2021
Take Goldie Locks for example.
One day she found herself in the middle of nowhere and in need of a nap. As the story goes, Goldie did find a seemingly empty house and decided to make herself right at home. Afterall, no one was around and there was food (albeit at varying degrees of tastiness) and, eventually, she also found a cozy platform for the aforementioned nap, so she settled in.
Much like Goldie, critters of every kind might find your unattended second home — your vacation oasis — to their liking, especially when you’re not around to disturb them. So we at Fox Pest Control wanted to share a few insights we’ve picked up over the years to help you make your second home just as safe and secure from pests as the one you live in most of the time.
Consider the following:
Walk around the exterior of the home and take a look at your trees. Especially those near the house. Branches that overhang onto your roof can provide easy access to your attic for animals like squirrels, roof rats, and other critters. Branches touching power lines also run a similar risk of becoming a pest highway “off ramp” into the home. Make sure to check trees for any galleries near knots in the trunk, or frass and sawdust left by carpenter ants. While carpenter ants aren’t good for the trees, they are even more damaging to a home.
Take a moment to inspect the yard for animal holes. Even if the hole is no longer occupied by the animal that made it, other pests are likely to take refuge there. Next look for any standing water, or places water might not absorb well. Not only will this attract wildlife animals looking for a drink, but it can also be home for mosquitoes come spring.
Make sure to check out any cracks in the foundation whether outside or in the basement. These can be the perfect way for bugs to get inside your vacation home. Though termites can’t damage the concrete foundation, cracks allow them entry into the home putting the wood structure at risk. You may see mud tunnels or the remnants of them around the foundation. That is another sure sign of a current or past termite problem. Also look for daylight peeking between the sill plate and the foundation, this could be another way pests are getting inside.
Damaged wood in a home can be a sign of termites or carpenter ants. To avoid having to deal with them, keep an eye out for hollow sounding wood, tunnels in wood, hard to close doors, noisy floorboards, and piles of sawdust. Moisture can attract termites and carpenter ants; you will also want to keep an eye on window frames, door frames, the sill plate in the basement, and the area around any piping.
Check the weatherstripping along windows, doors, and garage doors. Damaged weatherstripping makes it a lot easier for bugs to get inside the house. If there is damage, it’s likely you’ll find a few critters inside. An overabundance of spider webs around a basement window is a sign the seal is worn. A garage door seal is the most common entry point for rodents. Look for chew marks specifically near the corners of the door.
Look for marks or cracks in the walls. Brown stains could actually be droppings and a sign of bed bugs or cockroaches. Grease marks on the walls or in cabinets can be a sign of rodent activity. Paint peeling back from the wall that looks like water damage could actually be a sign of termites.
Take a look at where the walls meet the ceiling. Cockroaches like to roam around upside down and can be found hiding in cracks in these areas. You may spot spider webs here as well. Spiders help control bug populations. If they are present, it’s a sure sign other bugs are around too. You will want to make sure the baseboards are sealed to the wall and are flush with the floor. As you walk around, also notice anything that looks like rodent feces.
Something you may not think to do but should is to check the pipes. Check the cabinets under sinks and look for any water damage or signs of leaks. A leaky pipe is very attractive to ants, cockroaches, rodents, and other pests and provides them with an easy water source. You should also check for a cap on the sump pump as it can be an entry way for spiders, pill bugs, centipedes, and millipedes.Chances are your second home won’t become infested with cute-little-girl-squatters like Goldie, but the risks of unwanted bugs stopping by (and then never leaving) is all too great without the help of a professional pest control service. Fox provides year-round protection from any unwanted house guests — of the animal world variety anyway. Give us a call at (855) 953-2002, or submit a request for a free estimate here to get started.