You probably spend more time in your garage than you think. You want the things in your garage and the people who go in and out of it to be safe. You don’t want to have your things ruined by a rodent visitor or your children’s safety threatened by a biting insect. Here are five ways to keep your garage pest free.

1. Look Down. That concrete floor may be a freeway for crawling insects. The little crack or chip may look like four lanes to a troop of ants or a spider or two. You don’t want roaches to wander in and set up a home. You can fill up those cracks with a garage floor coating to put up a stop sign on the “roads” into the garage.

2. Look Up. What about the roof. Check it for gaps between the roofing material and the walls. This is especially important if your garage is older or is a converted carport. If you see small gaps, fill them with caulk. If there are big gaps, they’ll need a patch and if you aren’t a do-it-yourself, handyman, call for professional help. You want to keep creepy-crawlies out, but you also want to make sure there isn’t the possibility of a leak when it rains.

3. Pet Food and The Cat Box Need to Go. If you think the answer to a fresher house is putting the cat litter box in the garage, think again. Did you know that rodents like to feast on the cat’s feces? If you must keep the cat box in the garage, make sure it is cleaned regularly. And, about that cat or dog food – what a feast. Don’t think that paper sack it comes in will defeat a hungry rodent. If you store pet food in the garage, put it in pest-proof, plastic or metal containers with lids that close tight.

4. Windows and Doors, Oh My. The door that leads to the backyard…the windows…and that big, big garage door, they all need to be secured. Check the rubber threshold at the bottom of the garage door. Does it seal tightly, so it’s not letting those pests in? Or, is it worn with its gaps showing? What about the gaskets on the side of the door? Mice can chew on those to let themselves in so check carefully. Next, check the “regular” doors and windows. Are they sealed? It’s easy to add more caulk to windows that don’t open. Doors are a bit more complicated, but ask at the big box store for help or call a pro. If the problem is the garage door and it’s beyond what you can fix, or you need a replacement door, call a licensed garage repair and replacement company.

5. Store it Right. A cardboard box is not a secure storage container. If you store things you love in your garage, store them in containers that have tight-fitting lids and are made of heavy plastic or metal. They’re designed to keep your stored things safe.

Whether you need garage door maintenance in Tuscon, AZ to keep pack rats out or you live in another area and are worried about a different kind of four-legged creature, keeping your garage door well-maintained with the help of a professional garage door company is your best defense. When your garage door maintenance technician comes for the annual safety check (that’s a must!) ask the tech also to check those crucial seals. If your door is so old, it’s not doing its job to keep your garage tight and safe, talk to that licensed garage door company about a replacement. Think of your garage as just another room in your home – one you want safe, secure and pest free!