Garages add value to a home, but tend to get less attention than your living areas. Homeowners typically store tools, seasonal items, and athletic gear in the garage, letting them pile up and gather dust.
All that extra clutter can provide a comfortable hiding spot for all types of pests, including bugs, birds, racoons, and rodents. Find out how pests get into your garage and what you can do to keep it pest-free in the future.
“Garages offer an environment for bugs and pests that keeps them safe from the elements, including heat, cold, and rain, and offers protection from natural predators.”
What Causes Pest Infestations in Garages?
It’s common for homeowners to find pests in their garage, whether it’s a family of mice in an old box or flies swarming around in the summer. But why are garages so attractive to pests?
Garages offer an environment for bugs and pests that keeps them safe from the elements, including heat, cold, and rain, and offers protection from natural predators.
Many pests seek out warm, moist, dark habitats to create nests.
Garages are dark, often damp, and get less foot traffic than the rest of the home, as well as providing plenty of hiding spots in old boxes or storage containers.
Garages also have smells that attract pests, such as soil, animal food, and plants. If you store food in your garage, that can make it even more attractive to pests.
Types of Pests That Live in Garages
Mice and rats will enter a garage in the summer to escape the heat and winter to escape the cold. Along with carrying diseases, mice, and rats can damage your home by chewing wood and wiring, even starting a fire. These animals enter garages through tiny holes and gaps in the doors or walls.
are tiny insects that can crawl under doors and make their homes in cardboard boxes. They eat glue, clothing, paper, and food. Females lay several eggs daily, leading to rapid population growth and infestation.
Flies can be found anywhere in a home, including the garage. These insects seek out food sources by smell, making a garage appealing place. They may also be attracted to decaying matter, such as the carcasses of other insects or dead plant material.
Camel crickets seek refuge in dark, protected places like your garage when the weather is too hot and Dr. They can jump, which makes them a hazard for your fabric items, no matter how high you store them.
Sowbugs are terrestrial crustaceans that are related to lobsters and crayfish. They contribute to organic composition and soil fertility, which makes them beneficial outside of the home, but that can present a problem if they find their way into your garage.
Ground beetles are fast-moving predators that spend most of their time on the ground. With a hard and shiny brown body, ground beetles are sometimes confused with cockroaches. They may enter a garage by crawling through unsealed spaces or windows. Though they eat ants and termites, they can bite humans.
You’ll likely find spiders everywhere, especially in the garage. If you see more spider webs in your garage, that could be a sign that more spiders are setting up shop and feasting on the other insects that live there.
Signs of a Pest Infestation
The signs of a pest infestation can vary by the type of pest, but here are some signs to look out for:
- Droppings and urine: Finding droppings or urine stains around your garage is an indication of pest activity.
- Gnaw marks or damage: Rodents, termites, and other pests can leave gnaw marks on your walls, furniture, or wires, especially in the more hidden areas of your garage.
- Nesting materials: Nesting materials like shredded paper, fabric, or insulation can indicate pests like rodents or birds.
- Unpleasant odors: Strong, foul odors that emanate from areas of your garage can indicate pests, such as a moldy smell.
- Strange noises: Unusual sounds like scratching, squeaking, or scurrying in your garage or the walls and ceilings of your garage can indicate a rodent infestation.
How to Keep Bugs Out of the Garage
Here are some tips to get rid of and prevent garage pests:
Eliminate Existing Infestations
You have to eliminate any existing pest infestations before you can prevent future once. Look for signs of rodents or bugs in the garage, such as bug shells, droppings, cobwebs, or damage to your stored items. Depending on the type of pest, you may need to use pesticides or set traps, but you can call an exterminator.
Keep Your Garage Clean
Clutter and debris can make an ideal home for pests and bugs. Keeping your garage clean is important by setting up shelves to store boxes or tools and sweeping or mopping the floor to remove residue. If you store food in your garage, keep everything tightly sealed and covered. Never store garbage in your garage, even for a few days.
Check for gaps around your garage foundation, walls, ceilings, and windows. Seal them with caulk to remove an entry point for insects. Check these areas at least once a year to ensure they’re still in good condition.
One way to keep pests out of your garage is with traps. You can set manual traps near the areas where these creatures are likely to enter, such as fly strips and mouse traps. You can also use non-toxic pesticides.
Maintain Your Garage Door
Your garage door is a key part of keeping pests out of your garage. It needs proper maintenance to ensure that you can keep pests out. Make sure your garage door closes properly without any gaps, and check the insulation and weather stripping. If you have windows on your garage door, ensure they’re sealed and undamaged.
Garage Door Repairs at Austin’s Greater Garage Doors
If your garage door is letting pests in and needs repairs, it’s best to contact a professional for garage door repair or garage door replacement. Contact Austin’s Greater Garage Doors to schedule your repair or replacement.