It seems like only yesterday we were spending long days by the pool and enjoying warm nights in the backyard, but now that summertime warmth is a distant memory. Before you know it, the snow will be flying and the temperatures will be plummeting, and now is the perfect time to winterize your home.
When you think about getting your home ready for winter, you probably picture simple home upgrades like sealing the windows and cleaning out the gutters to prevent ice dams. But there is another part of winterizing your home, one that focuses in keeping unwanted creatures from seeking refuge in your living space.
Pest Problems Often Get Worse in Winter
You are not the only one who dislikes the cold weather – common household pests like spiders, ants, cockroaches and mice are also looking for a way to stay warm when temperatures drop. While they differ in other ways, those pests all have one thing in common – they view your home as a source of warmth and shelter.
If you fail to winterize your home and keep those pests at bay, you could be sharing your living space with all manner of four, six and eight-legged visitors. The good news is you do not have to resign yourself to the home invasion, and you still have time to implement a winter pest control program.
Look for Points of Entry
Ants, spiders and other bugs can enter your home through the tiniest cracks, and even larger creatures like mice and rats can make themselves surprisingly small. With the cold of winter officially on the horizon, now is the time to check your home for holes, cracks and other weaknesses that could give entry to common household pests.
Check for gaps around your doors and windows, especially in the basement and your spare rooms. It is easy to neglect these spaces, and these quiet areas are prime spots for pests to enter.
Sealing up cracks around the windows, placing barriers under the doors and filling cracks between the blocks in the basement is a great way to keep pests at bay, and a wonderful way to save money on your winter heating bills.
Practice Smart Food Storage
Nature has blessed mice and other household pests with an amazing sense of smell, allowing them to sense food from enormous distances. If you leave a plate of Christmas cookies on the counter when you go to bed, every mouse in the neighborhood will know about it, and they will beat a path to your kitchen.
Practicing smart food storage is a big part of keeping winter pests at bay, so invest in a few airtight containers and always store your leftovers promptly. Winter pests are looking for a warm place to sleep, but they will not turn down a free meal wherever they find it.
Be Wise About Outdoor Storage
The items you store outside your home can either deter pests or welcome them into your home. If you burn firewood for heat, make sure your wood pile is at least three feet away from your outside walls. Storing firewood too close to your home provides an easy point of entry for all manner of household pests.
If you have not already done so, now is the time to invest in a quality trash can, one that is designed to stop raccoons, mice and other household pests in their tracks. Emptying the trash promptly and keeping the can clean can also keep household pests away from your home.
The winter season is a tough one for wildlife, and many household pests are just trying to keep warm and find a bite to eat. That does not mean, however, that your home should be that place. Winterizing your home to stop pests from coming in can protect your property and stop those unwanted visitors from doing serious damage.