Every so often, I write a newsletter on a subject I think might be of interest to both real estate professionals and their clients. You can find links to them below.
Many people love Vermont for its beautiful rural landscape. While it truly is a joy to be surrounded by nature's bounty, it is not always so nice to find nature invading our homes and making itself comfortable.Autumn is the time when mice and other rodents seek out protected spaces to shelter in over winter, and for many people, this means critters in the house. The sound of animals scurrying in the walls at night is bad enough, but these little invaders can also spread disease with their urine and dropping, so an infestation can be hazardous to human health in addition to being a nuisance. The best solution to this problem is to track down and seal all entry points for these animals using wire mesh or steel wool to close off holes and cracks. Once this is done, use traps to remove the animals already inside.
Bats tend to be a problem in the warmer months, and often migrate south to overwinter in caves, so late fall and winter are good times to close off their access points, while they are out, to prevent them from moving back in the following year. Consider installing bat houses around your property to take advantage of bats' mosquito-eating habits without hosting them in your home.
Spring is a time of reawakening for trees, flowers...and ants. It is at this time of year that Vermonters tend to find trails of ants marching across the kitchen floor. It is difficult to make a home so tight that even tiny ants can't find a way in, but you can bait them with a borax and sugar mixture that they will carry back to the nest and poison themselves with. This method can be very effective.
As the weather warms, paper wasps like to build nests under eaves and decks. These wasps are not as aggressive as yellow jackets or hornets, but will still attack if they feel the nest is threatened. This can be a problem if the nest is built near entrances to the house or frequently-trafficked areas. For the brave, one good way to deal with these problem nests is to wait until nightfall when temperatures are cooler and knock off the nest with a garden hose spray nozzle. The wasps that survive will abandon the nest and move on.