These tips for keeping pests away this fall have been adapted from tips for school IPM from Zach Bruns at the IPM Institute.
- Don’t give pests something good to eat. During this time of the year, candy and other sweets are a fact of life. Place all sweet treats in sealed containers. That way pests, like ants and mice, won’t be tempted to munch on your goodies.
- Keep out pests that go bump in the night. With the weather cooling down, pests may be looking for warmer places to live, like inside your home. Keep pests out by sealing entry points. For example, install door sweeps, secure screens, and close off wall openings. Don’t forget about entry points located on top of and underneath buildings! Many pests are more active at night than during the day, thus you may never actually see them even if they are there.
- Did you hear about that school with the Haunted Storage Shed? Every year around the time it started to rain, school staff would start to hear creaks and groans coming from the storage shed. They also noticed that things would be moved around even though no one had been in the storage shed. They were convinced that the storage shed was haunted… Turns out it wasn’t. Instead it was so cluttered that it had become a favorite place for rats and mice to take shelter during the rainy season. To get rid of the storage shed “ghosts” school maintenance staff threw away the garbage, started using plastic storage bins with tight fitting lids, and organized the stored materials so they were neat and off the floor. Organize the storage areas at your school or home and don’t let this scary story become your reality.