While we’re sometimes called to perform wildlife removal when a critter is outside of the home — squirrels in a detached building, or a raccoon that won’t leave the family pet alone — most of our pest control services all take place in the home. Whether it’s about mice removal or termite control, many of our visits are about eliminating the pests that are in someone’s home.

But that raises a very big question: “How are these pests getting in your home in the first place?” It’s a very important question, because, except for houseflies, few of these insects or rodents are getting into your home because you left the front door open for a few seconds. Let’s take a look at the structural problems of your home that could be inviting creatures in, and what you’ll want to do in order to keep them out in the future.

Siding Cracks and Gaps

Siding is absolutely amazing. It holds up to the harsh Massachusetts weather and takes years before the cold and UV radiation cause it to crack.

But nothing lasts forever, and siding will eventually crack and become brittle. When that happens, it’s exposing the interior of the house to exterior forces, and that includes pests. Insects can crawl in, because many of them enjoy the conditioned air that we’ve created as much as we do. They’ll also find food, whether it’s the crumbs you leave on the floor, the wood that’s in your house’s frame, or other bugs that have found their way in. Suddenly the outside ecosystem becomes an inside ecosystem.

Cracks in the siding can also let mice and rats in. Remember, some of these creatures can crawl in through a hole as small as the diameter of a dime, so when your siding starts to crack it’s a good idea to get it repaired as much as possible. Once these critters get into the corner posts and J-channels that form the windows, they have access to just about any part of the house.

But it’s not just old siding that can cause problems. Gaps can also appear at the bottom on new siding, usually caused by…

Foundation Problems

Foundation problems can happen to just about any building, large or small, new or old. Foundation problems are often caused by a failure to compact the ground properly before the building was built. If the ground continues to give way after the foundation is poured, there’s less support under it and the concrete can crack. This can also happen if water washes away the dirt from under a foundation.

There are many ways in which a damaged foundation can create problems that eventually lead to the need for pest control. If a garage floor starts to tilt, the seal at the bottom of the door and the flashing might no longer prevent creatures from getting in. Small bugs get in and set up house, followed by larger bugs. Eventually, snakes, mice, and rats come in.

But it’s not just a tilted garage floor that can cause problems. Ants are notorious for finding the tiniest little cracks in a foundation and getting into a home. Sometimes it means they invade the first floor of a home, but tiny creatures also get into basements.

Garage Doors Are Notorious

What’s the biggest moving part of your home? What’s the largest door you own? What lets mice and rats in with ease?

We bet that the answer to all of these questions is “the garage door.” But the problem is that garage doors are meant to move and let things in, such as vehicles and people. We can’t tell you to always keep it down, because that would be incredibly impractical. But there’s no doubt that garage doors let in a lot of stuff you’d rather keep out, and it’s going to happen when you’re fixing a car or tinkering at your workbench.

The best way to keep critters out is to make the garage as unfriendly as possible. Keep some mousetraps loaded at the entrances, and take away any food sources — such as bulk foods from big box stores or bags or birdseed — out of reach or in a different place.

Why Do You Need Pest Control?

You might never know the exact reason you need pest control, but the fact remains: If you need it, you need it. Contact Safety Fumigant Company at the first sign of trouble!