If you tinker with your car, dive into DIY projects, or have invested time and energy into making your garage part of your living space, then you know the garage can be a great place to hang out. But so do many pests.
Garages are frequently open to the outdoors—more often than your home’s primary living space—and with a much larger threshold. Your garage door alone is the largest single entrance to your home. So it’s natural that it would be easier for some invaders to enter through these easier access points. But many pests don’t just walk in the front door. For some unwanted “guests,” even the smallest breaches in your defenses can lead to an infestation. Your best defense means knowing what you’re up against… and how they might sneak in.
Common Garage Pests
Mice, rats, and even squirrels can take up residence in your garage if there is an appealing living space. Gnawing tendencies make them very destructive—wood and plastics, and even soft metals aren’t safe from their jaws. But the risk of disease from infected rodents, a bite, and even their droppings is a greater danger.
Ants and termites burrow in and ingest wood, and left unchecked can reduce large parts of your home’s structure to sawdust. Spiders (not technically insects, but arachnids) can be simply a nuisance, but they can multiply in garage clutter, and some spider bites can be extremely dangerous, or even fatal.
Secure the Perimeter
Pests are extremely skilled at finding a way in, even through the smallest holes. So it’s important to close off any breaks in the perimeter. Check siding, framing, the roof, and any exterior wall, especially if there is evidence of rodents or insects, or even decay or water damage. But even the most impenetrable structure isn’t protected if the large garage door is left open too often. Keep the garage door closed, and in excellent working condition. A sound, sealed, and closed door reduce invasion.
Keep ‘Em in the Dark
We may think that pests operate best in secrecy and under the cover of night. But what they’re actually attracted to most is light, so keep interior garage lights off when not using the space to reduce the risk.
Stow or Throw
The more clutter in your garage, the more hiding and breeding ground available for rodents and insects alike. Stow items in an organized space, especially using enclosed plastic or metal containers for smaller and loose items. Cardboard is especially attractive, so remove it or elevate it above the floor so it is less accessible and less appealing (and less likely to decay). And of course if items don’t belong in the garage, or are no longer useful, throw them out (recycling all you can), to clear up potential hiding spaces.
Call the Pros
If the damage has been done and the pest population isn’t evicted through the above efforts, call in the pest control pros to solve the problem and prevent further damage. This allows your repairs and cleanup to stop future infestations and prevent recurrence from the inside out.