5 Steps to a Cleaner, Pest-Free Life
The modern garage has become much more than a location to park a vehicle and store gardening tools. Your garage is an extension of your home, and plays an important role in your overall available living space. Whether you have fully renovated your garage into an extra room, or you use the space to store extra belongings, we are guessing that you are not open to sharing any part of your home with furry or crawling tenants.
Homeowners often neglect their garages when it comes to pest control and fail to realize that it is one of the most vulnerable spots in a home for infestations. If pests, such as rats or mice, are able to infiltrate your garage, they can potentially inflict thousands of dollars in damage and expose your family to deadly diseases. Your garage acts as a gateway from the outside world to the interior of your home, so if you have pests in the garage, it is only a matter of time before you find them living inside with you.
Whether we are talking about rodents or insects, pests are generally searching for a safe and comfortable location to live, which also offers sources of food that are easy to access. Unfortunately for the average homeowner, their garage perfectly fits the description of a pest paradise.
Follow this game plan put together by the Alpha Doors team to give the boot to any bothersome bugs or vexing vermin, ensuring once they are gone, they are kept out for good.
Step 1: Clean and Reduce Clutter
Due to the fact that many people utilize their garage for storage, inevitably this area becomes cluttered with items you may not even want or need anymore. The first step to getting a pest free garage is to remove every item you have in there. Yes every item. This can be a major task for some, although it provides a great opportunity to reduce your clutter and perhaps donate some unused items to those in need.
While removing all these items, keep an eye out for any signs of pests (mouse droppings, dead insects, chewed materials, etc.), taking pictures and notes as you encounter them. Once all the items are removed, clean your garage to the best of your ability, ensuring to sweep the floor thoroughly and dry any areas that contain moisture (stagnant water or moisture can attract certain types of pests).
Step 2: Inspection
The next step is to give your garage an intense inspection, searching for any areas that pests could use to access your home. Get a flashlight to search in the hard to reach areas, looking for any cracks or crevices that need to be sealed. One of the biggest areas of concern is the actual door of your garage. Ensure the integrity of all the seals and look for spaces or cracks where the door connects to the wall or foundation. If your garage door is older, it may be time to consider updating it to maintain the security and enclosure of your home. For more information on replacing your old garage door, take a look this article we recently wrote and discover all the advantages a new door can bring.
Step 3: Self Remedy
In areas that you discovered any signs of insects or rodents, apply the appropriate pesticides or traps. If copious amounts of droppings or insects have been discovered, we highly recommend that you connect with a pest control professional immediately. They are trained to quickly and effectively deal with any issues you may encounter and more importantly, they are equipped to handle pests that are dangerous, such as infectious rats. Provide the pictures and notes you took while completing your initial cleaning so the pest control professionals know exactly what they are dealing with.
Now you can deal with any of the openings or cracks you found in your inspection. To seal smaller openings you can use a silicone caulk, or a masonry sealer for larger gaps discovered in bricks or stone. The Alpha Doors team can of course assist with any questions or concerns in regards to the sealing of the actual door to your garage.
Step 4: Reorganize, Paying Attention to Food Sources
Now that you have embraced your inner minimalist and rid yourself of all the clutter that was in your garage, you can now place your essential items back. Avoid creating areas where a pest might like to hide, such as a pile of wood or boxes in a corner. The more organized and clean your garage is, the less likely pests will try and call it home, period.
CAUTION: One of the biggest mistakes people make is placing food items or garbage in the garage. It is a good idea to keep all garbage in your home until your designated garbage day, or else it may become a buffet for some hungry rodents. Another mistake homeowners make is storing pet food or bird seed in the garage. Store these items inside, using a completely sealed container when possible. You should only purchase these food items when required instead of storing a large bulk quantity somewhere in the home.
Step 5: Maintenance
You have worked hard and now have a perfectly sealed, uncluttered, pest free garage. By giving your garage a quick clean every month or two, you will maintain your new tidy living space and can also keep a vigilant eye out for any new signs of pests. Have your sprays and traps ready in case any new pests emerge and quickly deal with the issue before your garage is compromised.
Game Plan Summary:
In order to keep your garage pest free, ensure it is CLEAN, UNCLUTTERED, and COMPLETELY sealed. Do not store items such as dog food or garbage inside of your garage and contact a professional if any major signs of pests are discovered. Also remember that even if you take all these steps, but leave a door or window open for extended periods of time, pests may still make your garage their home. Never leave your garage door open overnight to keep nocturnal pests and criminals out.
And don’t forget, if you need any assistance fixing, sealing or replacing your garage door, our team at Alpha Doors is always waiting to help!