It’s not uncommon for pests to infest your home during the winter in order to get away from the cold. For this very reason, it’s important to take extra precautions to pest-proof your home during the summer and winter months. Luckily, there are a few simple winter pest control tips that you can follow to help your home stay pest-free this winter! Learn more about pest-proofing your Home this winter.
We’ve put together 10 pest control tips for winter to help you keep cozy in and the pests out.
1) Identify Which Pests Are Common in Winter
The first step to pest-proofing your home for winter is to identify which pests you’ll be dealing with. The most common pest threats in winter are mice, rats, squirrels, bats, cockroaches, fleas, bed bugs, moths, and spiders. Now before you go on a frantic pest hunt around your home looking for signs of these critters, it’s important to know what you’re looking for. We recommend doing your own research or hiring a pest professional to inspect your home for any signs of the pests mentioned above.
2) Seal All Entry Points
One of the best ways to pest-proof your home for winter is to seal all entry points. There are the basic entry points that most people know about like under doors or through small openings in unsealed windows. There are also less conventional entry points such as cracks in the foundation, vents, pipes, and even your chimney. To protect you and your family from pests this winter it’s worth taking the time to try and locate these entry points and seal them as best you can.
A few ways to go about pest-proofing your home this winter is to install a mesh net or shutters over the windows and door sweeps or thresholds at the base of all exterior entry doors. You should also make sure to fill all cracks in walls and the foundation of your home as well as seal all openings:
- Entry Points Of Pipes And Wires
- Around Outdoor Faucets
- Gas Meters
- Laundry Vents
- Repair Leaky Piping
- Use Airtight Storage Containers For Storing Food
- Clean Your Home As Often As Possible
If you’re wanting to take the pest-proofing process into your own hands, we highly recommend starting this process before winter starts as it can be a tedious process. This will help keep pests such as spiders out as they like to come inside and nest in the winter months. If that window has already passed, don’t worry, you still have the option to hire a pest professional who can help you pest-proof your home in a timely fashion.
3) Trim Shrubs And Trees That Grow Close To Your Home
On top of sealing the entry points, you also have to trim or remove organic materials that grow close to your home. If the branches of the plants and trees are reaching or touching the exterior of your home, it is important to trim these branches back. They often serve as a tiny bridge for pests to access or create new entry points for themselves.
We recommend keeping a distance of at least 3 to 4 feet between the branches and the structure of your home. Not only does trimming branches help prevent pest infestations but it’s also good practice for maintaining the health of your trees and shrubs.
4) Properly Store Firewood
Firewood piles often act as a cozy apartment complex for a variety of different pests – most commonly rodents, beetles, termites, and ants. We recommend keeping all firewood piles away from your home so that these pests stay in their complex instead of deciding to move into your cozy home. Or even better, you can occasionally disrupt/move woodpiles so that pests don’t have enough time to create a permanent home in the first place.
5) Pest-Proof Your Christmas Tree
Many families choose to take part in the time-old tradition of visiting a tree farm to cut down a real tree to decorate and display in their homes. Although charming, it could potentially be the source of a pest problem. We recommend going to tree farms that have “tree shakers” that can help dislodge any hitchhikers before loading it up on your car. We also recommend doing your due diligence by inspecting your tree for spider egg sacs, ticks, or other suspicious-looking pests.
If you’re still on edge after taking these precautions, you can take the extra step of dusting your tree with Diatomaceous Earth or spraying it with neem oil. These are two natural pest controls that work great on Christmas trees. Once you’re ready to take it down, make sure to move it all the way to the curb away from the home, or for a sustainable, zero-waste tree option, chop it up for fireplace wood!
6) Keep Interiors Free From Moisture
Most insects and rodents look for moist surroundings in order to get them out of the harsh cold weather. That is why it is important to always make sure your home does not have excessive moisture. Since water sources are often frozen outside during the winter, pests will often look for water sources inside your home. If you have a water leak, it will attract pests and create the perfect habitat for unwanted critters.
As mentioned above, you need to make sure that you repair your pipes if they have a leak and be sure to remove any standing water from your home. This is a common problem in attics as well as basements. If you’ve been suffering from pest problems for a long period of time, it is a good idea to use a dehumidifier in order to reduce the moisture content. This will ensure that pests and rodents do not have access to favorable habitats in your home.
7) Check Your Groceries And Rinse Produce
For the most part, grocery stores maintain a high level of cleanliness and must adhere to strict pest prevention protocols. There are a few instances, however, when pests are able to hitchhike to your home in your groceries. The most common method is via produce. We recommend rinsing all produce right after you bring it home from the store. Even if you can’t visibly see any pests, there could be microscopic gnat or fruit fly eggs that will eventually hatch and create an annoyance.
8) Clean & Maintain Fireplaces
As we mentioned above, chimneys can serve as the perfect entry point for pests. Fireplace maintenance is usually the last thing on most homeowners’ minds during the summer months. Once fall rolls around, it’s important to inspect your chimney for pests such as bats, squirrels, birds, and other pests.
Chimneys often make for a popular nesting ground and will need to be cleared out regularly. You’ll also want to check for cracks, especially if you have a brick fireplace. These cracks can serve as entry points and will need to be sealed to help prevent winter pest infestations.
9) Keep Things Clean
Most homeowners already engage in some form of routine house cleaning for various reasons. Although there are no set rules as to how often you should clean your home, we do recommend a house-wide clean at least once a month. Not only will this make your space feel better, but it will help you identify and prevent pest infestations.
10) Regularly Monitor For Pest Activity
When it comes to keeping your home pest-free, it’s a never-ending battle. You may have won the fight, but have yet to win the war. We understand that pest prevention is a tedious process that most homeowners don’t want to have to think about. If DIY pest control is not your cup of tea, we recommend signing up for a quarterly pest control plan with Gunter Pest & Lawn. That way you can live your life without having to deal with any unwanted little housemates.
So, if you’re looking to pest-proof your home this winter, these 10 winter pest control tips are a good start. The best method of prevention is to engage in seasonal pest control. Whether you decide to go the DIY or professional route, we promise you’ll be glad you did.
That way you can sip on your hot cocoa in front of a cozy fire this winter without having to worry about insects and rodents joining you in the festivities.
Remember, you can always give us a call at 816-444-2847.