Spooky season is upon us, but watching Hitchcock films and the new Haunting of Bly Manor season aren’t the only ways to give us a fright. Finding a mouse in the house? Yeah, that’ll do the trick too.
As we begin to spend more time cuddled up indoors, creepy critters like mice, spiders and dare I even say – cockroaches – are gearing up for their peak season, and desperately trying to make your home, theirs this Fall. But if I haven’t scared you enough already with these unpleasant scenarios, keep reading for all the creepy critters to avoid this Fall, and what you can do to eliminate at least one source of fright this month (related: 5 Eco-Friendly Ways to Prep Your Home for Fall).
Creepy Critters To Avoid This Fall
Did you know you’re never more than 10 feet away from a spider? While I wish this weren’t true, every home is a home to over 61 of them, but the good news is they likely won’t be making much of a scene.
Spiders prefer to be left alone, undisturbed, in quiet, dark places. This is why they’ll often be found in places like basements, attics, and closets. But as the leaves fall, these eight-legged critters will crawl. A few promising ways to rid your home of them, as referenced by pest expert Kari Warberg Block, is by removing spider webs to make your home less attractive to them. Wash old webs off outside areas with a garden hose, particularly under roof eaves, and in the home. To prevent them from making new ones, use a spray made of half a cup of water, half a cup of vinegar, two tablespoons of liquid dish soap and twenty drops of thyme oil. The scented mixture prevents them from attaching their silk to the sprayed surfaces. You can also try shining a bright light on spiders. Since they like dark places, leaving the lights on where spiders typically weave their webs will have them looking for a new hideaway. If you’re looking for a product, check out EarthKind’s plant-based Stay Away Spiders pouches for effective, eco-conscious prevention for up to 30-days.
Yes, the dreaded stink bugs are back. Most active during the Fall, stink bugs are one of the most ubiquitous critters around. Found in 43 US states, these pests are not only creepy, but also enter the home in large packs, creating more likelihood for an infestation. Luckily, they don’t pose much threat when it comes to spreading disease, but they can cause damage to clothing and furniture inside the home. To keep invasions to a minimum, keep outdoor lights turned off and close the window blinds so light doesn’t spill out, stink bugs are attracted to light, so this will signal them to come indoors. Be sure to check grocery bags before bringing them indoors, seal off any entry points into the home, and make sure to have proper ventilation to avoid any harborage points.
And, if you do come across them, think twice before squishing them. Stink bugs have earned their name for a reason – when crushed, they emit an unpleasant, foul-smelling odor. To effectively rid of one without doing so, try vacuuming them up or bringing them outside instead.
It’s no surprise that colder weather brings mice and other rodents into the home, searching for food and shelter. But what may come as a surprise this year is the rise in rodent populations and their coined “rodent rage” behavior. Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have drastically cut off their food supply, mostly from restaurant closures, making them act much more aggressive and leading them to breach into new territories to find food.
Now, with an abundance of food and supplies stored in the home from pandemic prep, they’ll be extra inclined to get indoors – and, fun fact, mice only need a hole the size of a quarter to get in. For precautionary measures, check for any openings or cracks in the foundation of your home, or by the doors and windows, and seal them with caulk / weatherstrip. Keep areas around pet bowls clean (dog food is the number 1 rodent attractant) and be sure to transfer dry food into air-tight containers – this will help prevent other pest infestations, too.
Saving the creepiest of critters for last, cockroaches are relentless when trying to find food and shelter in the cooler weather, and scarily enough, like mice, they can carry and transmit disease. They’ll eat just about anything, and they multiply fast. Cockroaches are known for being attracted to moisture, and are typically found coming through the pipes and drains. So in addition to keep your home tidy, getting rid of clutter, washing the floors and counters to eliminate any traces of food and crumbs, also be sure to plug up the drains after you use them. This means both sink drains and bathtub / shower drains. If there’s no way to plug them up, place a disposable cup over the drains to keep them covered, trust me, you’ll be glad you did!
Now that you know what creepy crawlers to avoid this Fall, you can get to the fun part – decorating! Check out these DIY Fall Decorations tips, and hopefully, you’ll have no ‘uninvited guests’ scurrying past you when you least expect it… at least of the pest-related kind, that is. 👻