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A common theme in our recent blog posts has been to avoid household pest problems by keeping them out of your home in the first place. One of the major tips for doing this is to seal cracks and holes around the exterior of your home. Today, we are going to take a closer look at how to do this and what materials you will need.

Step 1: Walk Around Your Home and Identify Problem Areas

Until you walk around and carefully check the exterior of your home, you may not realize how many potential entry points insects and rodents have. According to Heat Talk, heat and cool air can also cause your electric bill to skyrocket. Mice can squeeze through a hole as small as a nickel, which means countless insects can also be coming in the same way. As you are doing a close examination, pay special attention to cracks and holes in certain places that are often problem areas, including:

  • Around windows and doors
  • Along the foundation
  • The roof
  • Attic and crawl space vents
  • Around holes used for electric, gas, and plumbing lines

Step 2: Use caulk to seal small cracks

 

 

Most Home Builders do a good enough job that you shouldn’t have to take to these methods. However they may be necessary with agin homes. Weatherproof silicone caulk, available at your local hardware store, is a simple and effective fix for very small cracks, especially around doors and windows. If you need to paint over the caulk, use latex caulk. However, clear caulk is more flexible and less likely to crack or dry out, so it is often better in the long run. Just apply a thin bead in the crack, and it will keep water and pests out.

Step 3: Fill larger gaps with steel wool and foam

For larger holes, gaps, or cracks, especially those often found around pipes, you can fill them with steel wool or copper mesh. This creates a base layer which you can then fill completely with expandable polyurethane foam. Once the foam has cured, you can trim it flush with the house and paint or stain it to match.This is most effective for larger areas because it deters gnawing rodents and insects that may bore through foam alone.

Step 4: Use fine wire mesh to cover large openings

Large openings like chimneys and crawl space or attic vents are more difficult to seal. Although you can’t block them completely, you can create a barrier to entrance. Cover these openings with a very fine wire mesh. The mesh comes in big roles that you can cut to the right size and then staple over the holes. This will prevent large animals like raccoons and squirrels from entering your attic, and it will also prevent most insects as well.

Great pest control begins with you. With a few simple fixes, you can do a lot to keep pesky insects and rodents out of your home. We know that not all pest problems can be solved with these tips, so if you need a professional to come out and help you identify problem areas or take care of household pests, give Six Brothers Pest Control in Kansas City a call. We are here to help you with all of your pest control problems.