This Halloween, Keep the Creepy Crawlies Out of Your Home With These Tips

by Lauren Leazenby
A spider in a spiderweb casts a large black shadow against a gray wall, spider, spiderweb, shadow, black, gray, spooky

You see something move out of the corner of your eye — a spider! After a second glance, however, you realize that the arachnid in your path is just a Halloween decoration. Phew! Even though your heart is still pounding, you’re sure you’re in the clear … until the eight-legged creature skitters across your foot and into the shadows.

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The best Halloween décor is supposed to make your skin crawl, but if you’ve got some real spooky creatures hanging around, you’re most likely going to need professional help to evict them.

That said, there are a few things the average homeowner can do to keep the creepy crawlies out. We’ve rustled up our top pest-control tips to help you de-scarify your house ASAP.

Snakes

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You’ll know a snake problem when you see one: shed skin, snake holes and S-shaped tracks in the dust. Now, you’re going to want to be cautious here. In some parts of the country, it’s much more likely that the snake in your space is a venomous one. For that reason, you might want to call a reptile specialist who can safely rehome the animal.

However, if you’re certain your snake is of the non-venomous variety, you’re clear to try a few of these deterrent methods:

  • Use one-way snake doors at entry points.
  • Keep your yard mowed and free of debris that can become hiding spots.
  • Keep mice (a snake food source) to a minimum.

Need those snakes to slither on out? Check out our guide.

Raccoons, Owls and Possums … Oh My!

Types of wildlife that can infest your home range from the cute and (almost) cuddly to the downright ugly. Either way, these animals are a nuisance. They’re hard on your lawn, eat your garden and do not make good roommates.

Removal methods vary based on the kind of creature you’re dealing with, but there are some things you can do to keep these critters from setting up shop in your house, attic or garage.

Here’s the hard truth: You may be creating a safe, cushy environment for unwanted wildlife. Animals — they’re just like us! They want a warm place to stay with access to food and water. The best thing you can do as a homeowner is eliminate these three elements. Seal entry points. Remove standing water. Cover your trash.

If all else fails, you’ll have to call a wildlife removal specialist. In this article, we break down the process and costs involved.

Bats

Bat on the wooden ceiling in the house.

In theory, bats are pretty cool. They fly and have echolocation powers, plus they’re always wearing the perfect Halloween costume. But up close (like when they’re hanging out in your attic or barn), they’re decidedly less cool.

Thing is, you gotta get ’em out of your space. According to the CDC, bats and their droppings carry a number of diseases that pose serious health risks to humans.

One more caveat: Bats are protected in many areas, so you may not be able to just, well, eliminate them like you would other pests. Research local laws before you take any action against your bat tenants. Or, better yet, call a local bat expert. They will be able to advise you based on your particular situation.

Learn more about bats here.

Spiders and Scorpions

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Eight legs are worse than six — especially when potentially dangerous venom is involved. Depending on the time of year and the area you live in, seeing a single spider or scorpion in the house may simply be a one-off event. They can catch a ride in on your clothes or sneak in through an open door or window.

But if you’re constantly seeing spiders or scorpions in your living space, you might have an infestation. Sticky traps and commercial pest-killer sprays can be helpful here, as can a call to a pest control specialist or exterminator. We’ve said this before: You need to figure out where these bugs are getting in and close the door on them. The first places you should look include doors, ground-level windows, spaces around plumbing fixtures and cracks in the foundation.

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For more, take a look at our removal guides for both spiders and scorpions.

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