A statement I hear all the time is “I don’t want to spray or bait for pests, just find how they are getting in and seal it up!”
I understand how in theory that sounds like an effective way to control pests but it is very difficult to practically execute. This is true for a few reasons: Firstly, the amount of space a pest needs to enter your home can be staggeringly small. For example, for a termite to get into a structure and start creating mud tubes, they require a space about 1/32nd of an inch. The same basically goes for an ant and many other crawling insects. For mice, the gap for entry is usually at least a ¼ inch gap. So, with entry points this small it can make finding and sealing them up a considerable challenge. Especially when you consider areas in tight crawlspaces, inaccessible areas under decks, and areas around a home’s roof line that can be difficult to thoroughly inspect.
During the day to day use of your home, there are usually many opportunities for pests to enter a home. The average person is liable to leave windows, slider doors and garage doors open for periods of time without considering that they are leaving a pathway open for pest entry. Also, there are areas like bulkhead doors and garage doors that are virtually impossible to seal up down to 1/32nd of an inch.
With that being said, searching for and sealing up entry points is still a worthwhile endeavor and a good practice to help slow down the influx of rodents and insects. Common areas we are sure to check are window screens, door weather stripping, ventilation points and double checking areas where plumbing and electrical work was done for any unsealed drill points.
Entry point sealing is rarely enough, though, to completely keep your home pest free. The most effective approach is a combination of entry point control and active treatments like spraying and baiting to truly get a home’s pest issues under control.