Pumpkin Spice Lattes (And Fall Pests) Are Back

Woman having Pumpkin-spiced latte with a friend.

The following is a work of fiction, to demonstrate the benefits of bug preparation.

As the air becomes crisper and the leaves turn a bright orange and yellow, two things are certain: pests will start to scale the walls of my home looking for a way in, and Dunkin Donuts will bring back the Pumpkin Spice Latte. While the first brings me great distress, the second makes all that stress melt away. As I sit here now, warming my lips on a frothy cup of sweetness, enjoying the sway of the oak trees in my backyard, I casually run through the prevention checklist in my mind.

My uncle came over and cut some limbs off a couple of the trees that sit in the back of the house, so critters and insects couldn't jump off and have access to the roof. And, I bought a few of those wiry scrubbers I use to clean my pans and stuffed them into the downspouts, so the rodents can't get up. If I'm still having trouble with pests this year, I'm definitely going to have my uncle cover the chimney with window-grade screening and use a mirror to check my soffits for cracks or holes. I'm probably going to be okay though. I had a professional caulk and seal my exterior walls and foundation, and treat may exterior walls so the bugs would stay off.

I take another sip from my Pumpkin Spice Latte and swirl it in my mouth, and a sense of satisfaction covers me like a warm blanket. I've been getting pests for years, but as I sit here now, I realize that the window sill no longer has the pile of bugs I get every year, because I fixed those little rips I had in my screens, and installed a door sweep on the front door. The door sweep was my idea, but the helpful technician from the pest company pointed out how weather stripping keeps bugs out as well. He said I had some already installed, but they had slipped down on the front door and fixed it during his visit.

My belly feels warm as I take another sip and think about the hard work it took to move the wood pile away from the house, but the raised platform and slanted roof my brother built work perfectly. The bugs can stay out there, far away from my foundation and walls. The technician also showed me a few other ways to keep pests away from my house, like: cover the garbage, move the construction materials that were stacked against the side of the house, and replace the white lights on my deck with yellow lights. He also explained why it is important to keep the light above the front door off at night. I've always noticed that there was a wall of bugs at the front door at night, but I didn't realize it was because the light was attracting them. I just didn't think too much about it.

So, I'm thankful this fall. Thankful for the warmth of my favorite drink, and thankful for the amazing helpfulness of the professional technician who helped me safeguard my home. I thought he would come over and spray everything with a nasty pesticide--and frankly--I would have been happy with that. I would have done anything to get rid of all these bugs. But it amazed me that he used barely any spray, but spent most of his time looking for vulnerabilities and helping me fix them. Though it will be sad saying goodbye to the Pumpkin Spice Latte, I am thrilled to finally be saying, "bye-bye to those fall intruders."