Is fall the best time of year to spray your house for bugs?

A pest problem in your home is pretty gross. In addition to the unwanted presence of creepy crawlies, many pests also carry diseases that make for unsanitary conditions, and some can even cause serious damage to your home. A full-blown infestation can be extremely difficult to get rid of, potentially costing you a lot of time, money, and effort.

That’s why the best pest control practices are preventative ones that keep bugs out of your house and stop infestations before they start. Developing a pest-prevention schedule includes periodically spraying for bugs to reduce their presence and stop them from nesting and breeding. Timing is crucial here, so we’re going to discuss the best time of year to spray your house for bugs and why it can make or break your pest control strategy.

Pest control spray outside

When to spray the house for bugs

Insects follow a predictable life cycle, so you can schedule sprays at the same time every year when they’re the most vulnerable.

Winter bug activity

During the winter months, insects are dormant and in hibernation. They’ve found a safe place to hole up for the winter, but many of them will not survive until spring. They won’t be bothersome during this time, so you may not even know what type of critters are milling around.

Spring bug activity

When spring hits, insects start to come out of hibernation in search of a safe place to nest and breed. During this time, they are fewer in number, and the surviving bugs are weak and in search of food. This is, by far, the most important time of year to spray for bugs, particularly if you have a history of infestation. If any insects survived the winter, spraying in the spring will exterminate them before they have a chance to breed.

Summer bug activity

In the summer, bug colonies are at their peak in both strength and numbers. They’ve fed, bred, and multiplied to the point where you see them, and evidence of their activity, much more often. When there’s a problem in the summer, you’ll need more aggressive extermination techniques, potentially even fumigation.

Fall bug activity

Once the weather starts to cool off, these little critters start looking for a good spot to hibernate. Even if you didn’t have a pest problem in your home during the summer, it may still be susceptible to a fall invasion as they start looking for shelter. At this time, you may not even notice their presence. They’re stealthy and looking for dark, hidden spaces to hibernate in, so you may not know they’re there until spring.

Fall pest control treatments prevent bugs from entering as opposed to exterminating the ones that are already inside. Typically, this includes perimeter spray treatments that block pests from entering your home altogether so they don’t pop up in the spring.

Pest control professional spraying outside house

How to spray in the fall

Spraying pesticides around the perimeter of your home is an easy project that doesn’t always require hiring professional pest control services. You can purchase pre-mixed and ready-to-use liquid insecticide sprays that attach directly to your hose. Then, you can simply walk around the perimeter of your home and spray.

Tips for spraying with liquid insecticide:

  • Wear long sleeves, pants, and other appropriate PPE. Insecticides contain harmful chemicals that can burn the skin and irritate your lungs. Check the label for more information on how to protect yourself as you use the spray, but most experts recommend donning goggles, masks, and gloves.
  • Use a waterproof insecticide mixture if your area gets a lot of rain in the fall.
  • Spray in the direction of the wind to avoid covering yourself in insecticide.
  • Spray the three bottom feet of the foundation of your home, along with one foot of ground that extends from the foundation.
  • Spray areas with access to the home such as vents, holes where cables and wires enter, and door and window frames.
  • Spray in a continuous line to avoid gaps in treatment that bugs can sneak in through.

Other fall pest prevention tips

Make it more difficult for pests to gain access to your home in the fall with these general pest prevention tips:

  • Check windows and doors for gaps and seal them.
  • Check siding for cracks or gaps and seal them with caulk.
  • Check your dryer’s vent and be sure there are no gaps or spaces where bugs can enter.
  • Use expanding foam to fill gaps or damage in the soffit.
  • Rake mulch and soil away from your foundation.
  • Trim bushes away from your home.
  • Seal known pest entrances with copper mesh and expanding foam.

When the summer comes to an end, your pest problems still aren’t over. When the weather begins to cool, bugs begin their search for a safe shelter from the cold, and your home is a desirable spot. Preventative pest control methods, like perimeter spraying and gap sealing, are crucial in preventing bugs from hibernating in your home over the winter. If you don’t let them in your home in the fall, they won’t have a chance to infest next summer.

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