(NewsUSA) - Bats, bees and spiders, oh my! While it's certainly normal to see these creatures invade your front doorstep on Halloween in the form of candy treat seekers, the real ones are generally unwelcome pests no one wants in or around their homes. As we prepare to bid farewell to summer and welcome the fall, it's a good time to remind homeowners that trick-or-treaters aren't the only ones who will be looking for something special in our homes. As the temperatures drop outdoors, many pests attempt to come indoors in search of food, water, and shelter.
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) offers the following tips for pest-proofing your home against unwelcome pests this fall:
* Seal all cracks and crevices around the foundation of the home. Mice, often in search of warmth, can fit through holes as small as the size of a dime.
* Check for gaps under exterior doors, and install door sweeps to close them. Spiders can fit through openings as thin as a piece of paper.
* Trim branches or bushes that touch the home. These wooden pathways can provide direct pest highways right into the house.
* Store firewood several feet away from the house. Wood that is next to the foundation of a home offers a welcoming environment for rodents, termites and other pests.
* Place a chimney cap on a fireplace, and keep the flue closed when not in use. Certain types of nuisance wildlife tend to see chimneys as home sweet home.
* Check eaves and overhangs for nests or hives that may indicate the presence of stinging insects.
* If you see evidence of an infestation, consult with a pest professional who can safely remove the offending pests for you.
Pests are more than just a nuisance. Some, like termites and carpenter ants, can cause significant structural damage, and others, like stinging insects, rodents and cockroaches, are vectors of disease pathogens.