When the average person hears the word ‘pest’ they think of bugs and insects. But let’s broaden your knowledge and talk about winter pests. Common winter pest home invaders include mice/rats, squirrels, birds, bats, cockroaches, fleas, bed bugs, moths and spiders. Once the weather starts to cool down in the fall, these pests start looking for a warm, dry, cozy home to bunker down in for the winter. If you don’t prepare, you could end up with a serious problem some extra home guests living rent free!
So, what do you do?
Winterizing your home may sound like a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be – not only will it keep out the pests, but it will also help to improve the quality of your home by reducing energy costs, saving you money in the long run.
Small pests – just because cold weather has arrived it doesn’t mean that these pests will just disappear. Most of them will actually go into hibernation and they are looking for a dry place to do just that. Not being prepared, could end up with you having some extended stay guests like ants, fleas or roaches. These small creatures are notorious for biting and roaches, they bring disease.
Large pests – just like our small visitors these guys are looking for a new home to keep them safe and warm during winter months and your home is the perfect hotel for them. Keep in mind that these guys will tear up insulation, chew holes through your walls, spread disease and fecal matter.
How do you prepare?
- Clean out yard debris. Rake up leaves, clear branches and make sure your firewood is neatly stacked and covered (kept away from your home). Leaf piles, brush and firewood are ideal hiding spots for these nuisances.
- Seal up any openings. Check for cracks, gaps and openings outside of your home. Pay close attention to the areas around your doors, windows, chimneys and any pipes. A tip from the PROS: repair any cracks in your foundation as well – those sneaky mice can squeeze through these tiny openings with little effort.
- Roof repairs. If there are any tree branches or debris lying on the roof of your home, you will want to make sure that you remove it. Check your chimney caps and if they are not intact, take the time or hire someone to repair them. Another important area to check is your attic vent seals.
- Reduce moisture. Check your bathroom and kitchen for leaky faucets. You will also want to inspect your attic and basement for any leaks or moisture accumulation. By keeping the areas dry you will reduce peat invasion.
- Clean your gutters. Gutters that are full of leaves and debris are the perfect nesting grounds for insects and rodents to live and breed. Clean em’ out!
- Insulate pipes. There are 2 great reasons to follow this step. 1. Pests are looking for any easy point of entry into your home through tiny gaps and cracks this will ensure they have no way to enter. 2. Insulating your pipes will help to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting in the coldest winter days.
These are merely suggestions on improvement tips for your home to reduce winter friends from seeking room in your house. Unfortunately, even after completing each of these tips, you may still find someone made it inside of your home. At Total Package Landscape, we offer a variety of pest control services. Give us a call and we would be happy to provide you with a FREE estimate to rid you of your new and unwanted house guests!