When you see an older home — perhaps made forty or sixty years ago — one of the first things that anybody would think is that there are pests in there. Most of the time, you are not wrong. Older homes, primarily those that are largely made out of wood, are prone to having pests because of the natural wear and tear of the structure. These homes tend to have more cracks that pests can slip through, and they are more likely to have already gone through pest damage than newer homes.
However, pests shouldn’t be something that you have to live with just because you have an older home. They can cause all sorts of health issues, and they can lead to severe structural damage without proper action. That said, we’ve come up with some of the best actionable ways for pest control in an older home.
Actively Seek Cracks, Holes, And Gaps
Go around your home — both inside and outside — and inspect it for any cracks, holes, and gaps. Even the tiniest openings can be big enough for insects to creep through. You will likely find a few here and there if you have an old house, especially if the previous owners did not stay on top of maintenance.
Whenever you find an opening, whether big or small, seal it as soon as possible. Seal small cracks or gaps with the appropriate sealant, especially for those you find outside the house. For bigger ones, consider calling in a contractor to fix the damage (or a concrete specialist if the cracks are in concrete surfaces).
Keep Firewood Away from The House
Most old homes have old-school fireplaces. If you still use the fireplace, make it a point to keep the firewood a good distance away from the house. Otherwise, you may be attracting termites, and these tiny things can cause huge amounts of structural damage to your home.
If you have a shed or a barn on the property, store your firewood there and cover it. In addition, elevate the pile to avoid attracting termites.
Address Foundation Problems
Issues in your foundation make up a big problem on their own. If you have windows that won’t open, doors that won’t close all the way, and uneven floors, you probably have a foundation problem on your hands. But more than that, a foundation problem usually comes with interior and exterior wall cracks, which can serve as openings for all sorts of pests.
Depending on the extent of the damage, the foundation of your home can either be repaired or replaced completely. Either way, the repair bill can go up to tens of thousands, so it’s best to have this issue addressed as soon as possible.
Clean the Air Ducts
If you have never cleaned the air ducts in your home since you moved in, now is the best time to do it. It is likely that pests have already invaded the air ducts (or the HVAC system) before, and they may have left traces that can attract other pests. Common pests that can be found in the HVAC system include spiders, cockroaches, rats, snakes, and squirrels.
Aside from preventing pests in your home, getting your air ducts cleaned can also improve your indoor air quality, which is better for your health as opposed to breathing in dirty air. Furthermore, clean air ducts can reduce the amount of dust circulating around your home, which can make cleaning much easier.
Fix Moisture Issues
A house with excess moisture can make up a nice habitat for different kinds of pests, such as cockroaches, centipedes, and silverfish. More than that, moisture can lead to mold and mildew growth, which can put your health at risk.
Inspect your house thoroughly for leaks, water stains, and damp areas, especially in the basement and attic. Once you spot any signs of leaks or water damage, call in a plumber to find the source of the problem. You may have a leak somewhere in the old piping, which is a common occurrence for older homes with pipes made forty or some years ago.
A common problem in older houses is the presence of pests — and all kinds of them. Nevertheless, there are lots of ways you can protect your home from pests and keep them away for good. Evidently, most of them have a lot to do with improving the overall condition of your home, which also means that you’re increasing the quality of your property while you’re minimizing the risk of attracting pests.