Posted on: November 23, 2021
Keeping your garage pest-free is an essential aspect of maintaining a structurally sound home. While the garage may be a room you don’t always use, it’s still important to regularly clean and inspect your garage. One of the most common pest infestation concerns is that pests often destroy belongings and can even damage your home.
In addition to the damage a pest can cause, some pests can be venomous or dangerous to humans. Even if a pest isn’t poisonous, it can still harbor harmful bacteria and diseases that can make you or your family sick. Identifying the signs of a garage pest infestation in its earliest stages can help you create an effective treatment plan and remove these pests from your home.
Why Do Pests Often Show Up in the Garage?
Like any animal, a pest is looking for the elements it needs to survive. In most cases, a garage is an ideal space for them, depending on what you keep in your garage or how you maintain it. Some of the most common reasons pests are attracted to garages include:
- Food: A garage is often a place where you may store extra cans or boxes of food. Additionally, those who may have a compost bin nearby or keep their trashcan in their garage may experience more severe pest problems.
- Water: A leaking pipe or a puddle can gain the attention of various pests. To avoid a pest infestation, you’ll always want to ensure you keep your garage clean and regularly ensure there’s no leak from a pipe or appliance.
- Shelter: Like any animal, a pest is looking for a safe place to sleep, live and raise their young. In most cases, a garage simulates a pest’s natural environment. For example, if you use your garage as a storage space, pests can use those items to hide.
- Smells: Many pests may be attracted to various smells or odors present in your garage. Depending on the pest, odors from birdseed, plants, food products or stored grains may be appealing.
- Reproduction: Finally, if a pest finds your garage to be a safe place to live and it provides all the necessary elements to survive, the pest will likely want to reproduce and raise its young in your garage.
10 Common Garage Pests
Identifying common pests is the first step to effectively keeping your garage pest-free. To keep mice or other common pests out of a garage, you’ll need to identify the type of pest that’s infesting your garage. While doing so may seem easy at first, it can be challenging to see a pest in action. In most cases, you only see the effects of a pest, such as a hole in a work glove or droppings. If you notice the signs of a pest, understanding the basics of common ones can help you develop a plan to keep critters out of your garage.
Rodents, such as mice, are a common garage pest that can spread mites and fleas and scratch, chew and burrow into items in your garage. Mice are attracted to garages because they’re dark and offer a place to hide and forage for food and scraps. Additionally, rats and mice are known to spread over 35 diseases. One way to keep rats out of a garage is to clean and organize your garage regularly and store items above floor level.
When it comes to ants, you may have an infestation of odorous house ants, carpenter ants or pavement ants. Ants often enter garages searching for food and water, leaving an ant trail behind them leading back to their colony. To correct an ant infestation, you’ll need to treat the problem at its source to disrupt the line of ants entering your garage.
Termites are one of the most destructive household and garage pests that can cause severe damage to your home. As a termite outbreak worsens, it can spread to other areas of your home and be responsible for wood, furniture, paper and fiberboard damage. In most cases, termites enter a garage through a weak point, such as a hole or damaged portion of a garage door or a crack where the siding meets the ground.
In addition to being a nuisance, a snake can be dangerous to you, your family and even your pets. There are 34 native species of snake found in the south Florida region, with four of these snakes being venomous. If you have a garage pest infestation involving snakes, it’s always best to call a professional to deal with the situation properly. Because snakes can be so dangerous, only trained professionals should remove them from your garage or home.
Spiders are often drawn to garages because there’s an ample amount of small pests and insects for feeding. You may notice an influx of spiders in late summer or early fall as temperatures begin to cool down. When putting on a boot or work glove you store in your garage, you’ll want to make sure there are no spiders in them as they often seek out small, dark places to hide.
Bees can enter your garage through small holes around fan outlets or piping and are typically attracted to light sources. In more severe cases, bees may make a hive within your garage and become aggressive in defending it. Before applying any pesticide or treatment, you should always wait until the evening when bees are less active. You’ll only want to manually remove the hive when you’re sure there’s no activity.
To keep bugs out of your garage, you’ll want to ensure no food or garbage waste is easily accessible. Flies are specifically drawn to meat and other forms of decaying matter where they can hatch their eggs and raise their young. If you have a composting bin in your garage or nearby, insects may be attracted to this and seek shelter in your home. A simple remedy for a fly infestation is a fly trap or flypaper.
Silverfish are commonly found throughout the home and often gravitate to crawlspaces, attics and garages. While silverfish aren’t considered a threat to humans as they don’t bite or carry diseases, they can cause a great deal of damage to your belongings, especially those made out of paper or fabric. An infestation of silverfish can get out of hand quickly as a female can reproduce rapidly.
A cricket infestation can worsen quickly and may be difficult to correct without professional help. Crickets can cause damage to fabrics and any clothing you may store in your garage, even if you keep it on a high shelf. In addition to this, crickets often are a nuisance as they are loud and chirp throughout the night, making it challenging to sleep. It can be difficult to remove crickets from a garage as they can lay hundreds of eggs at one time.
To keep roaches out of your garage, you may want to inspect your garage and see if there’s a problem causing excess moisture, such as a water leak. You may also want to check any gutters you may have to ensure they’re flowing and draining correctly.
The Dangers of Having Pests in Your Garage
There are many dangers of having a pest take up residence in your garage. If left unresolved, you and your family may experience health issues. Additionally, the pest issue can affect the structural integrity of your home, which could mean expensive repairs or even restoration. There are cases where the problem might spread to the rest of your property.
While you can solve some minor cases of a pest infestation, such as a spiderweb or the presence of ants, by yourself, more severe cases of a pest infestation often require the assistance of a professional pest exterminator. If you feel a pest infestation is too large or if the pest is venomous or potentially carrying harmful pathogens, you should always seek the help of professionals.
Dangers of a pest infestation include:
- Nuisance: First and foremost, any pest in your garage or home is a nuisance that can make you feel uncomfortable. Even if a pest isn’t harmful to humans, it can be inconvenient to have them in your home, especially if they’re damaging your property or personal belongings. Some pests may not pose a threat to you, but they may be more harmful to pets, including cats and dogs.
- Home damage: While most pests don’t pose an immediate threat or risk to humans, some may be dangerous to the items in your home. Some pests destroy fabric, cardboard, clothing and other items commonly stored in a garage. On the other hand, some pests may cause more serious and long-lasting damage to internal structures. For example, subterranean termites are the most destructive wood-eating pestsin the United States.
- Disease-carrying pests: Many pests can carry dangerous bacteria or diseases, including microbial infections and vector-borne diseases. In addition, some pests can also trigger asthma symptoms or an allergic reaction. Coming across a disease-carrying pest can be dangerous for everyone in your home and increase the risk of contracting a disease or illness.
How Do You Pest-Proof a Garage?
Pest-proofing a space is essential to keep mosquitos out of a garage and prevent any other pests from taking up residence in your home. While there are many tips and tricks to keep a garage pest-free, the most crucial step is to first deal with any existing pest infestation. It’s essential to remove any presence of pests before applying other pest-proofing techniques.
1. Consider a Pest Removal Service
If you have a current pest infestation, you’ll need to deal with these pests first before working on pest-proofing your garage. Even if a pest infestation may seem minor or not as serious, many pests can quickly reproduce, worsening an infestation in just a matter of days. As soon as you notice signs of a pest infestation, taking action can help more effectively and safely remove pests from your garage. Professional exterminators and pest control services can identify and treat an infestation.
2. Inspect Potential Entry Points
Any pest that finds its way into your garage did so through an entry point. The most obvious entry point is a garage door or window you may leave open for extended periods. Even if you make sure to close your doors and windows at all times, many pests are resourceful and can squeeze through your home’s siding or even a crack in a doorway.
Sealing off potential entry points can limit how a pest can get inside. Performing a thorough inspection of your home and identifying any damage or cracks in a wall or door can be an excellent place to start limiting potential entry points for various pests.
3. Keep Up on Garage Door Maintenance
Your garage door is one of the most important aspects to consider when determining potential entry points for pests. You’ll want to ensure your garage door closes properly with no gaps. Checking weather stripping is an essential aspect of keeping your garage free of pests.
If you have a pest infestation, you should keep up with garage door inspections and maintenance. A professional garage door repair company can help address any holes, cracks or points of damage leading to pests entering your garage. Garage door repair can also ensure the garage door functions properly and sits flush with the ground and walls so pests don’t have a way to enter your garage.
4. Store Items Properly
One of the main reasons pests are attracted to a garage is there are many items within the space that provide adequate shelter or act as a food source. Improperly stored food, garbage or other forms of organic material may draw the attention of various pests, including bugs, mosquitos and insects.
On the other hand, some pests are drawn to fabric, paper, wood or other materials they may ingest or damage. Ensuring you store items in your garage properly can help reduce the number of pests entering your garage and make it difficult for existing pests to find a reason to stay in your garage. Without a food or water source, many pests may become disinterested in your garage.
Professional Garage Door Maintenance & Repair in South Florida
At Broten Garage Door Sales, we’re proud to offer the highest quality products and services with unparalleled customer service. We have a wide range of garage doors, garage door openers and garage door accessories. Our talented team also offers garage door inspections, maintenance and repairs. Broten is accredited by the Institute of Door Dealer Education and Accreditation (IDEA) and is a member of the International Door Association.