‘Fall Invaders!’: How to protect your home against invading critters

Published: Oct. 21, 2022 at 4:53 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - It’s fall! Temperatures are dropping and it’s not just a season of leaves falling but critters looking for a warm place to stay or hibernate - uninvited guests you don’t want around. The reason is because of the drastic temperature changes. Then it becomes the annual battle between the homeowner and the rodent.

Fred Strickland has seen it all in 40 years.

“I am a board certified entomologist,” said Strickland, the vice president of marketing for Wayne’s Pest Control.

An expert in insects, Strickland knows how they think, act and their search for survival. Sometimes that means finding a cozy corner in your home.

“During this time of the year what most homeowners would see is a drastic temperature change like we saw this last week but also the seasonality, the change in season from summer to fall and from fall to winter,” he said.

Roaches, insects, mice, rats, you name it, no varmint is off limits during this time of year. Call them the fall ‘invaders.’

“Also, a lot of insects from moving things around, cutting the grass... we are seeing more activity of rodents and mice, stink bugs, centipedes,” he said.

But homeowners don’t have to sit down and take it. You can take some preventative, simple steps to make your home unappealing for rodents.

Strickland said one such step homeowners can do “is to take the time on a nice sunny afternoon and see if there are holes in entryways or look under garage doors and see if there are gaps.”

Strickland said what most people don’t realize is a mouse can get through a hole the size of a dime, while a rat can squeeze through the size of a quarter.

“If they can get their heads in, they can get in,” he said.

And in terms of the homeowner doing their own rodent control such as periodic sprays, certainly not a bad thing, says Strickland, but it may not ward off every type of insect.

“But it’s a matter of reading the labels and following instructions. That’s what we’re here for, to help and provide information along the way,” he said.

Strickland says a professional doing the job would cost anywhere from 75 to 150 dollars, depending on the size of the home or business. Strickland added bed bugs are more difficult to treat where wasps or crickets require a different treatment protocol.

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