We often think of summer as the worst time to battle insects. But pests often invade our homes in the winter, searching for relief from cold weather and food scarcity. Nobody wants to spend the winter cold and hungry. Well, pests are no different. The change of weather is a common trigger for a home invasion by perimeter pests like ants, cockroaches, spiders, and crickets. So, start preparing now by learning how to bug-proof your home for a pest-free winter.
Seal Your Doors
Various insects and pests can pass through even the smallest cracks and crevices. For example, our doorways often have small openings at the door jambs and molding that bugs can exploit. Examine your doors, using caulk and weather stripping where needed, to seal your house from bugs. Home sealing for pest control also helps to keep your utility bills down by keeping the heat in and cold air out.
You probably have window screens to keep pests out of your house. But when was the last time you checked on their condition? Screen frames get bent, the screen can tear or develop holes, and rust can lead to openings that pests will march through. When you examine your window screens, check the vent screens, too. Because you don’t see them every day, they may need repairs to keep your home bug-free. Check them periodically throughout the winter to ensure they are still in good condition.
Maintain Your Yard
When learning how to bug-proof your home, you’ll see how vital yard maintenance is. Preventing pests from nesting in your yard is the first step to keeping them away from your home. This begins with trimming and maintaining trees and shrubs. Sick plants are a haven for many insects. Keep leaf litter, weeds, brush piles, and other garden debris cleaned up, so they don’t provide nesting sites for pets. Remove sources of standing water, and clean up any fallen fruits and vegetables to reduce the number of pests that seek refuge in your yard. This type of preventative maintenance can go a long way to keep your yard and home bug-free.
Track down any drafts of cold air, cracks, or weaknesses in your home’s walls that might serve as an entry point for pests. Repairing any cracks will help ensure you have a bug-proof house this winter. Rotting or broken wood, broken or chipped bricks, and cracked or chipped stucco can also provide openings through which insects can enter. Carefully examine your house’s siding to ensure there are no gaps or areas where bugs can enter.
Seal Around Pipe Penetrations
Typically, a gap exists in every spot where a water pipe penetrates a wall in your home. Pests can use those gaps to enter your home. Although the gaps were likely caulked at installation, caulk ages, dries out, and flakes away, which creates an opening for bugs. Inspect each pipe where it penetrates the wall to be sure the hole around the pipe is well sealed against pests. Similarly, air ducts that penetrate a wall, like those that separate your garage and house, should be inspected and well-caulked to seal the house from bugs.
Watch What You Bring Home
When thinking about how to bug-proof your home, note the ways that you could accidentally be carrying bugs inside with you. For example, when you bring in a freshly cut Christmas tree or firewood, insects could be coming along for the ride. In addition, fruit, plants from the nursery, and even the cardboard boxes your deliveries are shipped in can transport pests. Before carrying these items indoors, inspect them carefully and avoid storing cardboard boxes in your home. They are an inviting habitat for many insects, especially during winter months.
Store Trash Properly
In addition to removing any excess packaging or cardboard from your home, storing trash properly is another important part of maintaining a bug-free house. Trash provides food, egg-laying locations, and shelter for pests indoors and out. And any pests that have taken up residents outside your home, may eventually find their way in. So, putting a lid over your trash can and regularly emptying it is essential to minimizing the potential for pests to enter your home.
Use Only “Yellow” Lights for Outdoor Lighting
As you know, insects, especially nocturnal ones, are attracted to light. But did you know that the color of the light can make a difference when it comes to attracting insects? Studies confirm that more insects are attracted to white lights than to yellow ones. And they tend to stick around white lights longer too. The studies indicate that insects have trouble seeing yellow light, which means fewer bugs. Using only yellow lights outdoors may help reduce the number of insects that hang out around your exterior lights. And less bugs hanging around your doors and windows means fewer bugs trying to find their way into your home.
Keep Your Home Clean
This one seems like a no-brainer, but when things get busy, cleaning your home regularly can fall to the bottom of your to-do list. Many insects have essential roles in their native habitats, such as disposing of animal carcasses, rotted fruit, and fallen trees. So, it’s natural that they are drawn to spilled food, discarded paper products, and other messes that are part of regular home-life. Therefore, keeping your home clean and maintaining a regular cleaning schedule is an important part of how to bug-proof your home each season.
Cover All Large Openings
Now that we’ve covered many of the smaller details and have you focused and mindful about sealing, screening, and caulking every tiny crack and crevice in your home, it’s time to go big! Don’t overlook those big openings like the chimney and the roof vents. A fine gauge wire screen can prevent bugs and bigger pests from entering your home through these larger openings. Birds, squirrels, and raccoons see these entryways as an open invitation to ‘come on in.’ Although, the arrival of unexpected visitors during the holidays can be fun. These are not the kind of surprise guests we have in mind. So, to prevent a squirrel, bird, or raccoon from crashing your holiday feast, cover any large opening before the weather gets cold.
Ensure a Bug-Free Home with Mosquito Joe
Learning how to bug-proof your home each season is essential for effective pest control. But you don’t have to do it all on your own. Mosquito Joe can help keep your home bug-free this winter with perimeter pest control services. Our perimeter pest control is designed to keep all sorts of creepy, crawling insects out of your personal space. So, the only guests you have this season are the ones you invited.
And when the weather starts to get warmer, our barrier spray service and natural treatments will make the outdoors fun again for the whole family while ensuring your house remains a bug-free home. We offer comprehensive pest control solutions across the country and tailor our services to meet your specific needs. Learn more about how we can help you make your home and garden safe for your family and pets.