Winter Pest Control Tips
It’s tempting to embrace the chilly winter months, trusting the cold to prevent problems with pests. After all, most pests, like mosquitoes, die in winter, right? Nope. While many pests are most active in spring and summer, some may show up in your home in winter, seeking shelter from the chilly temperatures. So, is pest control necessary in the winter? The answer is yes. For the sake of safety and hygiene, you do need pest control in winter months too.
Common Winter Pests
Our homes make cozy shelters for winter pests, which include an array of mammals and insects looking for warmth. Around the country, people frequently discover mice, rats, squirrels, bats, birds, cockroaches, moths, fleas, bed bugs, and spiders entering through chimneys, attics, small gaps, and wall openings designed for wiring and pipes. They come searching for food, water, and warmth. So, your winter pest control efforts should focus on denying them the essentials they need for survival. Read on for our best tips to control winter pests.
Seal Entry Points
Winter pest control begins with denying entrance to your home. Seal off the many entry points that winter pests exploit. Ensure that all doors and windows fit snugly. Even a tiny gap is wide enough for silverfish, cockroaches, or mosquitoes to enter. You would be amazed at how mice can squeeze through very small openings. If a pencil can fit through a hole, so can a mouse. Check every screen to be sure it fits well, with no tears or frayed holes. Caulk small cracks and seal all wall penetrations where pipes and power cords pass through. Expandable polyurethane foam is an excellent solution for filling holes and gaps in walls and around pipes.
Screen Vents to Chimneys
It is, of course, essential to properly vent a working chimney. Vents allow the smoke and ash to escape outdoors instead of entering your home. But the chimney is also a large, inviting space for rats, squirrels, bats, birds, raccoons, and other winter pests to enter, looking for a place to hide out and get warm. Vinyl screens can be chewed through. Instead, install a metal chimney screen. If you have a chimney screen (also referred to as an exterior spark arrestor) in place, inspect it to be certain it fits well and is in good condition.
Store Food Properly
Thus far, our winter pest control tips have focused on denying critters entry to your home. But another essential facet of winter pest control is to stop luring them to your home in the first place. Cleaning up the kitchen, securely sealing away all food, and keeping an air-tight lid on the trash and pet food will make your home less enticing. Also, keep spilled seeds from bird feeders cleaned up or away from the house, so they don’t attract winter pests.
Store Firewood at Least 20 Feet Away From Your Home
Stacked firewood creates an inviting habitat for many winter pests. They can hunker down and find good hiding spots within the stacks of wood. Unfortunately, that makes it easy to miss them and to carry them right over your threshold when you want to build a fire. So, be sure to keep firewood neatly stacked, well away from your home. It is best to keep it off the ground, supported on bricks or concrete blocks, while allowing airflow underneath the wood. This prevents moisture from collecting under the wood to attract insects. For winter pest control, plan to burn the wood as soon as you bring it indoors. This ensures that any hiding insects or eggs get destroyed. It’s also a good practice to give each piece of wood a quick inspection before bringing it into your home.
Keep Your Home Clean
Good housekeeping is an integral part of winter pest control. In addition to keeping food picked up and put away, you should wipe up crumbs and spills promptly. Dusting and vacuuming are effective for cleaning up insect eggs and larvae that are too small to see. Wash bedding weekly, and make sure to include items used by your pets, such as blankets, rugs, and stuffed animals. Mop kitchen and bathroom floors weekly, and keep the towels laundered. If you need help keeping up with cleaning chores around the house, hire a professional cleaning service to help out. If it keeps pests away, it will be money well spent.
Eliminate All Moisture Sites from Your Home
In addition to craving food and warm shelter, pests need water to drink. So, eliminating moisture indoors helps greatly with winter pest control. Spilled water should be promptly wiped up. All leaky faucets, sprinkler heads, and hoses should be repaired. Clear out blocked gutters and any other places water collects. Don’t allow dirty dishes to soak in water. Squeeze out excess water from sponges, and hang up wet towels and washcloths. If the shower or tub remains wet, wipe it down.
Inspect for Rodents
Rodents are among the smartest and most tenacious of winter pests. It is essential to detect them early before they do considerable damage, start a family, and spread disease or allergens to your family or pets. Be on the lookout for the most common signs of rodent activity: droppings that look like tiny pellets or black grains of rice, gnawing, grease marks, scuttling sounds, the odor of urine, and excited pets. Use a flashlight to inspect deep cupboards, store rooms, closets, baseboards, the attic, crawl spaces, and other dark or recessed areas. Prevention and prompt action are key to effective winter pest control.
Consider Professional Pest Control Services
There is so much to consider to protect your home in the winter. You’re concerned about the potential damage caused by storms, snow, and flooding while trying to keep your home warm and the heating bills down. Thinking about pest control in the winter may feel like an added burden. We get that. Following the preceding winter pest control tips will help you keep critters from spending the colder months in your cozy home, but you may need additional assistance.
When winter pest control becomes overwhelming, or you discover your home is invaded by insects or animals, it’s time to call on professional pest control services like Mosquito Joe. Our comprehensive pest control services are available to you all year round. We have locations with trained service personnel across the country. The Mosquito Joe professionals at each location are experts at identifying and controlling the specific pests in their local area. We tailor our services to your particular needs so you, your family, and your pets can enjoy your home and property in peace, free of pests.
Contact Mosquito Joe for winter pest control. All our work is backed by the Neighborly Done Right Promise™ and our Mosquito Joe® Satisfaction Guarantee, so you know you’ll be pleased. Request a free quote at the top of this page, or give us a call. We are here to help.