With cooler weather on the way, there is often a collective sigh of relief that those bothersome pests of summer will soon be gone. People look forward to no insect bites in winter.
The problem with that is while certain flying insects may not be as plentiful after summer’s heat, there are still other unwanted visitors that can show up in the cold. The question then comes up: do I need pest control in the winter?
The answer to that question is YES! Protecting your home and family doesn’t stop when the temperatures drop.
Read on to discover how to prepare your home to be insect and rodent free during the cold months ahead.
Where Do Insects Go in the Winter?
Almost everything slows down in the winter, and insects are no exception. The warmth of the summer keeps them thriving and extremely active. They also feed almost continuously.
When the air turns cooler and their food source goes away, insects have different reactions. Some actually do not survive, and after laying their eggs will die off for the next generation to come back in the spring.
Others develop a hibernation-type mode and find somewhere to sleep away the winter and conserve their resources. This could be by burrowing into the ground or finding shelter somewhere in trees, under leaves, or other places outdoor that protect from the elements.
While others, including rodents, often make their winter home in the coziest place they can find: Your house! If you don’t intend to provide a warm place for them to stay, here is how to keep them out.
Check the Weatherstripping
As soon as the temperatures start to drop, there will be a mad dash for all the inspects outside to make their way in. Many will try to do that through spaces around the doors and windows.
Before that happens, check on all the weatherstripping around your home. It only takes the tiniest of space for them to gain entrance. The added benefit is extra savings on the utility bill as it will help keep the cold air outside as well.
Repair Or Replace Screens
Keep an eye out for any screens with tears that need to be repaired or replaced. Even storm doors and windows with a screen layer should be checked.
If you have openings that lead to the outside of your home, like a chimney vent, make sure the damper stays closed when not in use. There should also be a mesh cap to keep rodents from climbing in.
Seal Any Holes
Mice can fit through an opening as small as a penny. Take a walk around your home and look for any spaces that should be sealed or boarded up.
Especially take note where the pipe and utilities enter the home. The roof is also a prime spot for small cracks around vents or a loose shingle that can provide easy access inside.
Don’t Store Firewood Near Your House
No one likes to walk far to bring firewood indoors, but be careful not to keep the pile too close to your home.
Both insects and rodents like to burrow down in firewood. It protects them from the cold and rain. If you store the woodpile too close to the house, they will sense the warmth and look for ways to get inside.
Keep Tree Branches Trimmed
Tree limbs are another easy access point for rodents to make it inside your home. They can climb up and all the way over to the roof or ledge and a crack just waiting for them.
One of your fall jobs should be to prune away tree limbs from the side or top of your home. There are other fall lawn care tips to also protect your yard for the coming cold.
Watch for Any Moisture Spots
Water spots are a great attraction for bugs, especially cockroaches. Make sure any water leaks or clogged drains are cleaned up immediately and properly.
If you experience a hard freeze, go back to check all outdoor water spigots for new leaks or busted pipes. In addition to the damage these can do to your home, it is an open invitation to these irritating and disease-carrying unwanted visitors.
Even with your best efforts, there are still times when you need a professional pest control company to truly protect your home.
Keep Boxes and Storage off the Floor
Insects, and especially rodents, will look for a small, warm place to hang out for the winter. They love building nests in cluttered corners or storage boxes.
Try to keep floor areas, especially in the basement and attic, organized and free of debris. In addition, keep all boxes up off the floor and on shelves.
If you store furniture in either place, be mindful that mice and rats will often pick those places to have their young. Steps must be taken to protect your furniture and avoid compounding the mice problem.
Rats can quickly become a huge problem for you and your family. Here are the signs to look out for.
Keep Crumbs to a Minimum
In addition to warmth, these insects and rodents will also be looking for food. It doesn’t take much to bring them out into the open.
Keep all food sealed tightly and put away in cabinets or the fridge. Never leave food out on dishes.
Take the trash out often too. Keep a secure lid on all trash containers with food and close tightly when taking outside.
Do I Need Pest Control in the Winter?
Most people are prepared to deal with pests in the spring and summer. By the time fall rolls around, those same people are thinking about other things.
The problem is the pests are thinking about ways to spend the cold months in your home. Do I need pest control in the winter? Rest assured the answer is yes.
For more information on how we can help prepare your home to be pest-free this winter, please reach out.