As the mercury drops and humans cuddle up inside to escape freezing temperature and blustery winds outdoors, you need to make sure you aren’t snuggling alongside vermin. Although you might think of pests as a warm-weather problem, many common pests head to warm locations for the winter. Unlike birds who fly south, these creatures are seeking the comfort of your home.
Pests can cause extensive damage to a home and your belongings. At the first sign of pests, you certainly need to call a professional to manage the issue. However, preventative measures may help you avoid such a crisis altogether.
Measures Against Insect Pests
Cold-blooded pests such as insects start searching for protective warmth as soon as temperatures begin to drop in the fall. Discourage them from choosing to winter in your home by following these tips:
1. Hose down plants before bringing them in for the winter. Any pests hiding on the leaves of your plants will hitch a ride if you don’t carefully wash your plants before bringing them indoors.
2. Keep firewood off the ground and at least 20 feet away from your home. Both insects and snakes often seek the warmth of a woodpile during winter months. You don’t want to welcome them into your home.
3. Remove food sources from roaches and other common pests. The glue on the back of a postage stamp could feed one roach for 30 days, and if they’re feeding, they’re breeding. In addition to carefully cleaning up crumbs and spills, store food stuffs in airtight plastic containers. Regularly remove trash and recycling from your home.
Measures Against Rodents
Although rodents may drop by a residence unannounced any time of the year, they’re more likely to arrive and nest in your home during colder months. Consider these means of adverting an infestation:
1. Clean your gutters. Piles of leaves and debris create warm, cozy spaces for rodents to nest and raise families during the winter months.
2. Seal cracks and holes on the exterior of your home. A hole the size of your thumb is big enough for an adult mouse to slip through.
3. Place screens over chimney vents and other openings. Also, be sure to have your chimney cleaned and inspected. If a family of pests has already taken up residence there, you want to remove it before starting a fire in your fireplace.
Signs of an Infestation
Not all infestations can be avoided. In some cases, the best thing you can do is to eliminate an infestation as soon as you notice it. Keep an eye out for indications that you have a pest problem.
1. Rodent droppings in your home
2. Gnaw marks on walls, woodwork or wiring
3. Sounds of scurrying within the walls or in the attic
If you notice these or other signs of an infestation, contact pest control immediately. The sooner you resolve the issue, the less damage the pests will do.
Derek is currently blogging for Fox Pest Control, a pest control company located in Connecticut. He enjoys blogging about DIY pest control, various tell-tale signs of bug issues, and common household pests.