While residents may notice a pest infestation in their homes early on, bugs and rodents can harbor in yard sheds and storage structures for a while before their presence becomes apparent. Especially during winter months, pests look for food and shelter in humid, covered areas. If homeowners suspect unwelcome visitors, they should contact a pest control professional promptly. However, there are several steps homeowners can take to limit the chances of an infestation.
Prepare from outside in
Wood dwelling critters like termites can severely damage the foundations, walls and roofs of garden sheds. If these bugs aren't dealt with quickly upon first notice, they can cost homeowners hefty sums in repair and replacement fees. It's therefore essential to eliminate elements that attract the pests.
Because rats, mice and many creepy crawlers can enter structures through seemingly tiny holes, it's a good idea to seal up any crack or crevices in external walls, foundation and piping.
Pests are lured by moisture and standing water. It's always important to clean up water and other liquid spills promptly. To eliminate humidity, residents should inspect external and internal faucets and eliminate any leaks in pipes and valves. Homeowners may also consider purchasing a dehumidifier to dry up the shed's interior.
Because a lack of ventilation can foster the stuffy environment many bugs are used to, it's a good idea to place a fan in larger storage structures. Homeowners may also consider opening and closing shed doors every day or so to let fresh air in.
Watch what you store
Sheds can be a great place to keep gardening tools, infrequently used appliances and other household items. However, residents should be very cautious about what they store.
Moths, beetles and other pantry pests can get into dry foods and grain, endangering residents and causing headaches for those whose products are destroyed. Meanwhile, rats and raccoons can contaminate pet food, putting furry friends at risk of bacterial diseases.
Dry products and soil should always be stored in an airtight container and inspected frequently and before use for signs of pests, such as dropping, larvae and rips or holes in packaging. Items like holiday decorations, clothing and bedding that are placed in a shed should be cleaned thoroughly and sealed in bins. Cooking appliances should also be effectively cleaned and free of food residue.
Firewood should never be kept in or near sheds. It's best to place it outdoors on a platform to keep pests away. Meanwhile, if a trash bin is kept inside the shed, residents should empty it frequently.