How Pests Make It Inside Your Home

Damaged screen on sliding door

You’ve probably noticed some of these pests inside the home at this time of year (even if you keep everything clean) and wonder: How are they getting inside?

As Birmingham’s premier pest control team, we hear your concerns and want to help you keep your home safe, healthy, and pest-free this fall. For our experts’ advice on dealing with pests inside the home, stay tuned!

Pests Inside the Home and How They Sneak In

Even if you keep a spotless home, insects like termites and small rodents, like roof rats and house mice, will want to sneak in and hide out as long as possible. Before you spend another dollar on DIY pest control, check out these four ways that pests can make their way into your home:

#1: Windows and Doors

Although you might shut the door behind you each time you go in or out of your home and haven’t left any windows open, your doors and windows may still be the source of your pest problem. 

On the one hand, you should ensure your doors and windows are making a tight seal when shut. If you find cracks or you can see light shining through the gaps even when your door is closed, that is probably the main source of your problem. Seal them by recaulking them or installing new door flaps.

You also want to check your windows and screens: Can tiny pests crawl through the mesh? You should invest in a window screen with smaller holes in the mesh. Are there cracks in the mesh or gaps? Or rust? If damage is minimal, you can try to repair it. But again, your best bet might be to get a new window screen altogether, especially if there’s an issue with the fit in your window or irreparable damage.

#2: Hitch-Hiking On People and Pets

If pests inside the home aren’t slipping through cracks in the front door, they can still come in with you and your family by hitching a ride on your clothes or something you’ve brought inside. 

There are two main ways this hitch-hiking occurs, and the best you can do to prevent it is to keep an eye out. Between you getting out of the car and walking into your house, a tiny spider (or other creepy-crawly) could make its way into your grocery bag or creep onto your shoulder, smuggling itself into your home and leaving you none the wiser. 

Pests can also ride in things they were already hanging out on in nature, like plants and fresh-picked produce; it’s especially common with firewood and termites. If you plan to stock your fireplace with termite-infested wood, you must kill the entire colony—the queen, brood, workers, and all—but if the wood is too close to your house, you will need a pest control agent’s help. 

#2: Vents and Fans

Sometimes, dryer vents and fans can be a golden opportunity for pests to enter your home; it often occurs when the dampers on your household vents are damaged and cannot correctly close or completely seal the vent. 

If you suspect that your vent dampers need repair, you’ll want to call an HVAC technician. However, if it’s also causing pest problems, speak with a pest control expert first about how to navigate the situation.

#4: Through the Crawl Space

Crawl spaces are dark, warm, and moist environments where all kinds of critters can nest and shelter from larger predators and the elements. They can also be a passageway for pests to get inside your home.

If you know you have pests but don’t know where they’re coming from, check the crawl space (or find someone who can) for places it has been tampered with or damaged. As we explained with vents and fans, don’t try to handle the problem on your own if there’s a chance a dangerous pest is lurking in the crawl space.

When to Call Pest Control 

Common signs of an unseen pest infestation include:

  • Scratching, munching, scattering, or squeaking sounds coming from inside your walls, day or night
  • Animal droppings 
  • Damaged wood (furniture, doors or frames, walls, floors, roof trusses/rafters, etc.)
  • Nests

If you suspect an infestation based on the signs listed above or actual sightings of any pests inside the home, it’s time to call an expert to investigate the situation thoroughly, eradicate the presence of pests on your property, and implement long-lasting prevention. 

Our team at Vulcan Termite & Pest Control has fulfilled that role for families in Alabama since 1965, and we would love to help you too! Call us at 205-663-4200 or contact us online today to learn more about our affordable, highly effective pest control solutions.