After a relatively mild winter, New Yorkers are excited to see signs that a change of season is underway.

Spring is quickly approaching but with the change in weather often come unexpected and unwanted guests inside and around your house.  Erie Insurance offers some tips on keeping unwanted visitors away from your place as the weather starts to get warmer.

Know the Signs of an Infestation at Your Home

Rodents are not exactly known for being subtle houseguests. They leave droppings wherever they go and can cause damage by tearing open bags of food. Teeth marks may also indicate their presence. In the case of insects, finding a large number of dead bodies may suggest an infestation. Increased spider webs are another clue, as spiders tend to congregate in areas with a high concentration of bugs.

How To Make Your Home Less Attractive to Pests

Different types of houses can be more inviting to specific pests. For instance, wood construction can attract termites and carpenter ants, while wasps and ants are drawn to food sources with high sugar content. Rodents, on the other hand, are less picky and typically search for food in easily accessible areas. To discourage pests, it's really important to make sure that you keep your house tidy and keep food storage away from the floor whenever possible.

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Identifying Areas of Vulnerability Which Allow Pests in Your Home

Pests usually enter homes through vulnerable areas. Inspecting your house for cracks in the foundation, lifted baseboards, or gaps near pipes or vents is important to prevent future entry by pests. Doing simple things like filling in gaps can help fortify your home against unwanted invaders.

How to Address a Pet Infestation in Your Home

If you have done an inspection of your property and come to the conclusion that you have an infestation, the first thing you need to do is declutter your home. Clutter provides pests with hiding places and easy access to resources that attracted them in the first place. Cleaning your home takes away the incentive for pests to linger or come back. In some cases, more aggressive action may be necessary. Hiring a licensed exterminator can often effectively eliminate your pest problem.

Natural Methods to Deter Pests

Ants: Placing spices such as chili powder, cinnamon, cloves, garlic, dried peppermint, or tartar near their entrance holes is something they're not crazy about and has been proven to repel ants. Coffee grounds and lemon juice can also be effective.

Wasps: Essential oil sprays can discourage wasps from nesting which is something you want to do. You need to identify and destroy the nest or fill it with dirt before it gets too large or you'll be dealing with a massive problem.

Mice or Rats: Mouse traps and catch-and-release traps can help with existing problems. Sealing holes and properly storing food in sealed locations can prevent new mice from entering.

Cockroaches: Bay leaves are known to repel cockroaches. Placing them in areas where cockroaches are commonly found, typically areas with food or standing water, can deter them. Borax also works well at getting rid of cockroaches.

Termites: Keeping wooden structures and wood piles away from your home reduces the risk of a termite infestation. Repellents like borax, neem tree oil, and orange oil can be used as preventive measures.

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Gallery Credit: Yasmin Young

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