Fall ushers in the season when creepy, crawler things look for a new home 

Rick Chantry 

It’s that time of the year when football is king, and children – both little and big – are prepping for Halloween. Nights have turned cooler. And last, but not least, it’s the time of the year when legions of critters are looking for a warmer place to live.  

NETAR President
Association Spokesperson

When those creepy critters begin showing up is also when many homeowners begin making their homes less inviting and shutting out the multi-legged. Many homeowners plan or have already scheduled their semiannual pest control service.  

Some do-it-yourself preventive maintenance on the outside of a home can help keep pests outside where they belong. Take advantage of the nice weather to check out the underside of your home’s siding with a mirror. If you find gaps, stuff them with copper mesh, then seal the gap with latex caulk or foam.

Windows, doors, and basement sashes should also be sealed with adhesive-backed weather stripping. 

First and foremost, have a pest control expert out to inspect your home in advance of the changing seasons—the end of summer and the beginning of fall is typically the best time for an inspection. When finished, the inspector will go over any major areas of concern that might become gateways for pests. Pest control experts can also deliver the scoop on any pests that may be present during this time of year and what to look for as signs they might be trying to invade your home. 

Here are some universal do-it-yourself tips listed in home maintenance articles and on the web that are also part of a typical home maintenance program: 

  • Do your best to make your home unappealing to pests. The best defense is cleaning. In fact, a thorough fall cleaning is just as important as the spring cleaning. And it’s an excellent time to declutter and pave the way for a new level of cleanliness during winter. It will also give owners a benchmark to maintain when they’re confined indoors due to inclement weather or harsh temperatures. 
  • On a daily basis, focus on keeping the home tidy. That way pests don’t have any leeway to find food. This means tightly sealing all food when it’s put away, not leaving food out, and taking care to clean up any messes that might be food related. Food is a big draw for insects and rodents alike, so eliminate any opportunities for them to get it. 
  • This one may be tough for some. Taking care not to squish the occasional spider goes a long way towards keeping it home pest free. It’s a form of natural pest control. Common house spiders can lead long and happy lives devouring smaller pests in the house. The best part is you’ll often never even know they’re there. 

Here are a couple of suggestions for the outside of the home:

   – Eliminate standing water. Pests are attracted to moisture. 

   – Keep tree branches cut back. Sometimes pests use these branches to get into your home. 

   – Make sure there are no cracks or little openings around the bottom  

of the house. Those cracks are portals pests use these to get in. 

   – Make sure that firewood and building materials are not stored next to the home. Pests like to build nests in stacks of wood. 

   You can find more information about pest control and myriad other items and issues of interest to homeowners at HouseLogic.com at https://www.houselogic.com/. It’s a consumer service of local and national Realtors® intended to demonstrate that the homeowner-Realtor® relationship extends beyond the core areas of buying and selling real estate.  

NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee. It is the largest trade association in the Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia region, representing over 1,800+ members and 100+ business partners involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. Weekly market reports and information for both consumers and members are available on the NETAR website at https://netar.us