Towards the end of the winter, more and more of us experience issues with pests in the garage. Animals look for shelter from the chilly weather, and as food stores outdoors grow low, pests of every kind will gravitate towards any scraps that people leave around. Our homes are insulated and usually shut tight against intruders. In addition, most of us will notice signs of an impending infestation early. In the garage, on the other hand, critters can thrive for a long time before we spot any signs.

Whether it’s a raccoon taking shelter in your garage’s rafters, or black widows hiding in the corners of your storage areas, here are some ways that you can keep pests out of your garage.

  • Seal up any holes: When pests wander into your space, it’s usually because there’s an opening somewhere. Most of us have a hole of some kind in our garage. It could be a vent, an open or cracked window, or ductwork. Sometimes, it’s even a pet door. Seal up unnecessary holes, and outfit the passages that need to be there with protection. For example, installing mesh in a ventilation shaft will keep rodents from getting in.
  • Get in the habit of keeping your garage door closed: During the winter, this isn’t as much of a problem. We’re pretty determined to keep the snowy weather out. But during the rest of the year, many of us get in the habit of keeping our garage door open. Make sure that anytime your garage door is open (even part way) you’re in the area actively using the open door.
  • Keep food sealed up well: If you store food in your garage, make sure that it’s really well-sealed. If animals can smell just a whiff, you could have numerous guests in your garage in no time. Keep food in plastic bins that animals and insects can’t get into, and make sure containers are completely sealed. Check your stores and rotate them every now and then to make sure that the area is clean and the seals are holding.
  • Keep clutter organized and raised off the ground: Most of us use our garage for storage on some level. However, a little bit of storage can quickly turn into a junk heap made up of completely indistinguishable objects. Soon, we don’t dare to venture into certain corners because we’re scared of the cobwebs and the critters that could be lurking underneath. The single best thing that you can do to keep pests out of your garage is to keep it clean and tidy. Make sure that things are organized, easily accessible, and even raised off the ground. Raising things off the ground will make them easier to clean and organize, and harder for pests to hide under and behind.
  • Get pest control: Preventive services draw a perimeter around your home that discourages pests from coming in. When we get this service, many of us neglect our garage, even though it’s one of the most likely places for pests to thrive.