Best Ways to Eliminate Bugs in Attics
I recently purchased my new home in 2020, and I have to say that owning rather than renting has felt great. It’s wonderful to be able to do whatever I want to the home without the repercussions of a landlord or management company. And what a relief not to be throwing money away essentially on rent! The major drawback of owning my home, of course, is that the maintenance of the home and property falls to me. No more being able to call the maintenance crew at 2 a.m. when my toilet decides to stop working. Nope, it’s all on me.
Imagine my groans when spring came around, and the bugs decided that my home should become their own. In the first few months of homeownership, I’ve dealt with spiders, ants crawling in, carpenter bees in my carport, and the occasional wasp or two. It got me wondering, how do you remove bugs from the harder-to-access parts of your house, such as your attic?
So, how do you keep bugs out of your attic? There are a variety of ways to protect your attic from creepy crawlies. The major ways are to eliminate moisture, reduce entry points, protecting vulnerable items, keeping rugs or carpets clean, regular checks and maintenance, and planning the use of your space. In a nutshell, it’s important to make your space less enticing and less comfortable for bugs and eliminating potential food sources.
Preventing Bugs From Occupying Your Attic
Nobody wants their house infested with bugs. Spaces in your house that are generally low-traffic, such as your attics, basements, and crawlspaces, usually store items that bugs like to eat or nest in. Therefore, you must make your spaces as uncomfortable and unappetizing for the bugs as possible with these simple steps:
Did you know that some bugs, like silverfish, cockroaches, or mosquitos, use water for both breeding and sustenance? If there is water in the area, the bugs will quickly multiply. Yuck! This is why it’s very important to make sure you eliminate moisture in your attic. You can do this by sealing or fixing leaking pipes, or even installing a dehumidifier.
Reduce Entry Points
Bugs will do anything to get to a comfortable nesting place or to get to the food. They can wiggle through even the tightest spaces. This is why broken windows or cracks need to be repaired, and even holes made from installing utilities or plumbing also need to be sealed to prevent the creepy critters from entering your attic that way.
Protect Vulnerable Items
Oddly enough, bugs love to pig out on wooden furniture, cardboard boxes, and even books. Sometimes, they like to make these items their home. These are things you typically find in one’s attic; therefore you should consider storing these items in plastic containers or covering them in plastic, so you don’t draw in bugs to your attic.
Keep Rugs & Carpets Clean
If you have a rug or carpet in your attic, it’s important to regularly vacuum them. This will remove any insects living inside while making it more difficult for them to breed and live there in the future.
Regular Checks & Maintenance
You’re setting yourself up for potential failure if you leave items in your attic and simply forget about them. Like any part of your home, it’s important to check your attic regularly to ensure there isn’t a new bug infestation.
Plan Your Space
It’s a good idea to have a plan in place as to how you will organize the various items in your attic. Rule of thumb: keep similar items in one location. For example, if you store books in your attic, make sure your books are all housed in one location.
That way, if you have any creepy critters that like to nest in or eat books, they will be centralized to one location and won’t swarm your entire attic.
Typical Bugs Found In Your Attic
There are a variety of pests that are more likely to call your attic their new home. Some of the most common include:
- Cluster flies: These attic insect pests are very common, and like to be a nuisance to homeowners typically in the fall when they like to seek shelter through the winter. They get their common name from the way they cluster together, typically in wall voids (especially those higher up in your home) and attics.
- Cockroaches: These yucky pests love to munch on newspapers, magazines, and cardboard boxes. They’re huge fans of warm, dark places to hide and make nests, which makes your attic a little oasis for cockroaches. Unfortunately, cockroaches breed quickly, and sprays are only effective on roaches you can visibly see. It’s best to call a professional as soon as you spot cockroaches in your home.
- Ants: Even though they aren’t as gross as the typical pest, no one wants ants invading their home. Most ants are non-destructive, but be wary: sometimes you may find you’ve got carpenter ants. These ants can damage the structure of your home and need to be removed as soon as you can.
- Centipedes: 100 legs of pure horror! Not going to lie, I find centipedes particularly gross, and this is another critter that likes to take refuge in your attic. Centipedes prefer dark, quiet, damp, out-of-the-way areas to hide out and nest, so your attic may be the best place for them to go.
- Spiders: So, having spiders in your attic probably isn’t a bad thing. Some are venomous and should be removed (think Black Widow, Brown Recluse, etc.) However, most spiders are totally harmless to you and actually helpful, since they will hunt and trap other insects that may be lurking in your attic. Yay for spiders?
Is my landscaping causing more bugs?
It’s important to keep your lawn mowed regularly, and that tree limbs and bushes are trimmed back from the side of your house. Making sure leaves and other lawn clutter are cleared up will give pests fewer areas to create habitats near your home. Additionally, make sure you keep firewood and mulch at least 20 feet away from the side of your home, as many insects love to chew on wood or nest in woodpiles.
How do I remove pests in the attic?
Removing pests from the attic can at times be difficult, due to the size constraints of the space, as well as the number of hiding spaces that are available to bugs in the attic. Unlike other infestations, it’s wise to stay away from insecticide spray products in the attic. We recommend using insecticide baits or pest control dust products. Once the traps are full, simply throw them away and set out new ones. It’s important to note how often you set out new traps because being too effective could mean there’s a bigger issue. Continuously replacing the sheets could help you identify an infestation that needs to be handled by a professional company.
What is the average cost of an exterminator service? The average cost of an exterminator service nationally ranges from $60 to $295. Pest management treatments for ants cost $131, on average, whereas termite control services range from $65-$750 and bed bug extermination ranges from $175-$900.
Of course, prices will vary depending on the level of infestation, the experience of the exterminator, and the geographic region of the United States in which you live. It is best to contact your local professional exterminator for a more accurate quote.