Far too often homeowners neglect to realize how easy it is to let the garage become a haven for unwanted pests and critters. It could be something as simple as a rat scurrying inside while the door is left open. Yet, it could also be more than that. The fact is this: Finding unwanted pests or critters in your garage can be quite unsettling, especially if it’s decked out like a game room or leisure space.

Animal and insect pests are just like us. They seek access to environmental conditions that are more favorable to their survival. In many cases, your garage represents ideal environmental conditions. You want to eliminate all access places to that inviting home for all of nature’s peskiest of pets. The problem is, there are so many of them!

Whether you live in Canton or Akron, as a Northeast Ohio resident you know bugs happen. You have come to expect bugs and critters. Many critters common to Ohio are common across the country. From flies to silverfish, crickets, ants, cockroaches, mice and more – there are no shortages of creepy crawlies ready to make a home in your garage. Fortunately, there are quick and easy ways to prevent or eliminate unwanted pests from your garage.

Tips to Keeping Pests Out of the Garage

We get it, you might not have the cleanest garage in the world, and that’s fine. Even the most fastidious garage owner is liable to wind up with a pest or two. When you have a huge door opening and closing, you create a perfect environment for pests to sneak in.

Keep these tips in mind as you keep your garage clear of invaders:

  • Clean the Clutter: If your garage is a cluttered mess, clean it! Every nook and cranny you have scattered about is a potential home for a pest. Eliminate shadowed corners and dark spots by reducing the overall clutter in your garage.
  • Inspect the Garage: You could have a crack or a hole somewhere in one of your walls. Such problems can be hidden, even in clean garages. Have you done a parameter check where walls meet ceiling and floors? Dead animals might be in the insulation between your walls.
  • Practice Prevention: Some say the best intervention is prevention. This is especially true for dealing with pests. Keep your garage spaces clean and proactively eliminate ways critters can get in and stay in.

Of course, one of the most important parts of your garage is the garage door. Have you taken a moment to check its condition? One of the most overlooked problems is a shining beacon for critters: Broken or ripped weatherstripping. Make sure you semi-routinely bring the garage door up and inspect he weatherstripping. Also bring the door all the way down into full contact with the floor. There should be no gaps.

Conduct a Deeper Inspection

People use their garage for all sorts of reasons. It is truly one of the most versatile spaces in the house. It also has the most utility. There is more to the garage then where you park your car. If you want to truly keep pests out, you need to make sure you inspect the:

  • Walls
  • Windows
  • Eaves
  • Roof interior
  • Attics/crawlspaces

You may need a flashlight, but to truly rid yourself of – or prevent – pests, you have to be thorough. It is also important to consider that you aren’t just looking for live animals jumping out at you as you probe their lair. You must also consider and eliminate the presence of:

  • Dead pests
  • Sawdust
  • Droppings
  • Spiderwebs
  • Nests of any kind
  • Chew marks

If you use your garage for any type of storage, consider that moisture attracts certain inspect species. Exposed wood and pipes around other objects can offer shelter and appeal to small animals and bugs. As you make your inspection, it does not hurt to bring a notebook so that you can reference areas that need attention.

If you do end up finding critters, here are some more examples of what you might find:

  • Rats
  • Snakes
  • Opossums
  • Raccoons
  • Squirrels
  • Wasps
  • Bees
  • Biting spiders

In reality, the list is long. With so many potential invaders, what’s a homeowner to do?

Do You Have a Clean and Safe Garage?

As we have mentioned before, the best way to keep pests at bay is to make sure your garage is clean and organized. One of the most underutilized spaces in the garage is along the walls. Many homeowners could still easily fit their car into the garage while still making room to install shelving. Shelves or cabinets go a long in keeping your garage neat and tidy. Having lose items stocked in shelf space also reduces nest areas and prevents air-flow problems.

You’ve also got to make sure you keep moisture in check. If you see a problem in your roof, wall or floor, make sure to call a contractor, unless you can safely say you can do it yourself. Also keep in mind that pesticides are regulated in many areas. You can safely use commercially available pesticides or other natural or safe alternatives.

While it is important to have a clean garage, it is even more important to have a safe one. If you do intend on laying traps or spraying pesticide, make sure to keep your children and pets away from the area. Also make sure you check local ordinances before setting up large scale animal traps. And, of course, make sure to follow all instructions listed on the products you use to prevent or eliminate pests.

The fact is, your garage is an important space. And even if you do not use it for leisure or storage, it is an entryway into your house. If you don’t stop pests at the garage door, expect to say hello to them in the living room, kitchen, and so on. Practice effective garage cleanliness and pest prevention techniques and you won’t be startled the next time a mighty mouse jumps at you!

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