Preparing for something is almost always better than reacting to it. Certainly, that’s the case when it comes to insect control in your home.

If you wait until you’ve seen the first bug – or signs of a bug infestation – you’re already fighting an uphill battle. Because once pests make a home out of your home, it’s always harder to evict them than it is to keep them out in the first place. Certainly, it can be done, but why not save yourself the time, hassle, and money of the more aggressive treatments that it takes to exterminate than to control?

And if you want to avoid infestation, there’s no time like the present. In fact, using the winter to prepare for the summer – and with it all those insects and other pests that run rampant during the hot, muggy months in north Georgia and metro Atlanta – is ideal.

So, with that being the case, what can you do right now to improve your chances of keeping pests out in the coming months?

Let’s take a look.

Close off your home

Since pests – like roaches and spiders – can squeeze through even the smallest openings, you need to ensure that there are no cracks and crevices that give them an entryway to your home. Check all around your house for cracks or gaps anywhere but look specifically around your doors and windows.

Replace any eroded weather stripping – especially on sliding glass doors or French doors – and ensure a tight closure point by reapplying caulk or silicone to any gaps. This also means that you should repair or replace any broken screen doors or storm windows with fine screens (20 mesh or finer). And you should place screens in front of all doors and windows that do not already have them. It’s also a good idea to install screens over any chimney and/or attic vents.

You can also install door sweeps or thresholds at the base of all exterior entry doors. If you do this, ensure that you cannot see any light underneath exterior doors. Garage doors can also be fitted with a rubber seal – don’t use vinyl, as it shrinks too dramatically in cold weather.

Something else to consider: Your outside doors should be self-closing. If they are not, be sure to install screen doors to ensure that pests don’t have a wide-open route into your home.

Also, seal up utility openings. That means anywhere that pipes and wires, outdoor faucets, gas meters, and/or laundry vents come into your home should be airtight – again, use a sealant.

Also, pay close attention to your basement or crawlspace vents and access. As soon as spring comes, termites will be on the move and looking for a new home. Termites live underground, and while they send out flying “swarmers,” in the spring to start new colonies, they always look for a subterranean home and will find access on the ground level where they can. Termites can access even the most minuscule opening, which is why it is important that you have preventive measures in place to repel them – such as in-ground termite treatments like Sentricon, which can be easily installed by an insect company.

These measures are relatively inexpensive and are certainly worth the insurance they provide against immense damage that termites can wreak is worth.

Eliminate food and water for pests

Just because you’ve made your home harder to access does not mean you’re home free – because there’s always a chance you missed something. In that case, to help be certain you’ve made you’re home less inviting, you should do your best to erase a big reason creepy crawlies want to come inside: food and water.

Ants and roaches, especially, love living off excess food and water that you – usually unwittingly – leave lying around for them. These insects are attracted to all types of foods, including sugar, salt, and oils/fats. So, the first thing if you’re looking for how to get rid of ants or roaches is to ensure that you keep your home as clean from food crumbs as possible – especially the kitchen.

Keep your kitchen countertops and tables clean of crumbs and cooking oils, and sweep, vacuum, and mop your floors consistently – especially in dining/cooking areas. You should also utilize air-tight food containers to ensure there is no attraction for pests. Also, be sure to cover up and seal all garbage receptacles.

While food may bring pests into the home, they will also need access to a consistent water source to stay there. That means that you should ensure that you do not have any standing water/leaks present in your home – especially in the basement, garage, or attic. It is a good idea to keep these areas well-ventilated – consider using a dehumidifier. Also, avoid piling up wet rags or allowing standing water in seldom-used sinks.

Tend to your yard/garden

While pests love to live inside your home, they will also happily take up residence in your yard/garden this spring and summer. And them being that close to your home will only invite them to eventually check out your home.

To make your land less attractive, make sure that you remove clutter and ensure that the areas around your home’s foundation are clear and clean. Also, check your gutters and make sure they are draining properly and not backed up with leaves and other trash. If so, clean them out.

Follow these simple steps this winter, and you will put yourself in a much stronger position to avoid a pest infestation this summer.

Call in a professional

However, there are also occasions in life when you either do not have the time or are simply overwhelmed by the force of nature that are pests. That does not mean that you should despair. The good news is that there are professional pest control companies available to you that will help keep you bug free year-round.

Zone has been providing expert pest control solutions to households throughout north Georgia and metro Atlanta for more than 25 years, and we would be happy to help you keep those pests away for good. Professionals like us know that there are bugs that spend the winter months harboring indoors, and in attics, basements, and crawl spaces. With our knowledge of products and insects, no homeowner can be as effective in preventing and eliminating pest problems as us. Simply contact us today at 770-904-5432, and we’ll get started turning your home into a fortress against creepy crawlies. We make it easy and keep your home bug free at your convenience.