4 common pest entry points and how you can close them off
It’s a common question we get from many local homeowners: how are these pests even getting into my home? The answer? Anyway that they can. Many of the pests here in the Phoenix area are capable of a tight fit—bark scorpions, for instance, can squeeze between a gap of ⅛”, about the width of a credit card. Roof rats, for obvious reasons, need more space, but can still find their way in through relatively constricted openings. Below, we list the four most common pest entry points that pests use to find their way into Valley homes.
Common pest entry points
This is often the most common way for many pests to get into your home. In many homes, front doors do not seal tightly against the threshold, allowing just a tiny gap of space for pests to get through. Or, the wear and tear of the garage door has led to the door itself not forming a tight seal against the concrete.
Many pests, including roaches and scorpions, can squeeze into tight spaces. They’ll take advantage of any daylight around your doors to get into your home. The same thing goes for windows. An obvious problem is a ripped window screen, but pests can also breach a closed window through gaps around the frame.
These problems can be solved by adding weatherstripping around the door so that it fits tightly within the frame. You may also need to replace the door. In the event that your garage door does not form a seal with the ground because the rubberized seal—technically known as the “astragal”—is torn, damaged, or worn, you’ll need to have a garage door specialist out to replace that rubber seal. For windows, replace screens with any holes or tears in them, and be sure to check around the window for any gaps.
Inside of foundation cracks
Your home’s foundation is where your home meets the ground and where most pests start their journey into your home. It’s only natural that pests take advantage of cracks in the foundation that allow them to then get into walls. In a section below, we’ll review the benefits of our home sealing service and how we seal foundation cracks.
Penetrations in foundations
All homes have utilities that need to penetrate through the foundation. At each of these location there remains the potential for insects to tunnel up into your home. Termites in the Valley are notorious for appearing under sinks and behind toilets.
Through roof vents
Here in Phoenix, many stucco homes feature roof vents near the roof line. These vents serve an important purpose in your home, both by allowing moisture to escape the roof and by balancing the air pressure in your home with that of the outside. However, left unprotected, they can be a way for pests—in particular, roof rats—to access the inside of your home.
This most commonly occurs when you have trees that overhang or are close to the roof. Rats climb the trees and then go out on a limb to reach your home. From there, they’ll enter the attic through an exposed vent.
So, how exactly do you limit this access? First, don’t obstruct the roof vents at any point. This could lead to major moisture buildup issues inside of your attic and your roof. Instead, you’ll want to add a metal mesh or grate-like material over each hole. This allows air to enter and exit, but prevents something as large as a roof rat from getting in. Chances are that your home already has these coverings, so another important task is making sure that this mesh barrier stays in good shape and continues to block entry to each vent.
Ok, this is an aspect of pest prevention that isn’t necessarily a part of our home sealing service. But, you should know that many pests—most famously, bed bugs, but also roaches, crickets, and rodents—are accidentally carried into the home by the homeowner. These hitchhikers may travel in that cardboard box containing your online order or in your luggage from your recent vacation. No matter how they get there, they ultimately do so because the homeowner unknowingly brought them in.
There are a few ways to prevent this type of pest incursion into your home:
— To prevent a bed bug infestation, take precautions when traveling to avoid transmitting bed bugs from one place to another, such as keeping your luggage and personal items on hard surfaces and checking your mattress and couches for bugs before sitting or laying down. Also, wash and dry your clothes and luggage immediately when you arrive home.
— To avoid bringing other pests in, open cardboard packages left on the porch outside and then carry the items in those boxes inside separately.
Prevent pest entry with the help of our team
At KY-KO Pest Prevention, we offer a service that can help keep pests out of your home: home sealing. This 25-step process starts with an audit to determine what your home’s pest entry points are. Then, our team goes to work sealing or blocking those points of entry. We seal around air conditioners and electrical boxes, install weather-stripping, screen your roof vents, and apply caulking to seal windows.
If your home here in the Valley has been struggling with pests, call us for a free pest inspection, and be sure to talk to our techs about our home sealing service.