As temperatures drop, bugs and animals seek refuge from the storm, and your home may be the perfect place for a pest to hide out during the winter. To prevent a pest invasion, you’ll need to take steps to prepare your house for the winter. Read this blog post to learn what winter prep steps are most important.
Because homes are inherently warmer than the outdoors, they can provide a safe haven from the snow, rain, and cold temperatures that winter brings for a variety of bugs and animals. The best way to keep pests out is to ensure they can’t squeeze their way in.
If you have gaps or cracks in your home or foundation, pests may be able to get in. Bugs may be more difficult to prevent because of their small size, but even mice can slip through holes as small as a quarter-inch, so patch as many holes as possible.
You can seal holes and cracks with a silicone-based caulk, replace damaged or rotting materials such as the fascia boards, and repair loose mortar to keep these pests out.
If it’s been awhile since you last replaced your weatherstripping, you may notice an influx of bugs coming into your house through the gaps around your doors and windows. If you don’t want to spend your winter checking for bug bites or squashing bugs as you see them, replace your weatherstripping before they invade in force.
Cracks and gaps that aren’t supposed to be there are easy to solve, but what about the holes leading from inside to outside on purpose? If you leave these open, pests will see them as an open invitation to your home.
Place Chimney Caps
Chimneys are common in houses where temperatures get cold enough to require winter preparation. If your home features a fireplace, ensure you put on a chimney cap so critters don’t crawl in — whether the fire is stoked or not, a pest invasion via chimney is incredibly inconvenient.
Affix Dryer Vent Covers
Dryer vents are essential to prevent house fires and other problems if you run a clothes dryer in your home or garage, but they lead directly to the outside and can fit a variety of creatures. To prevent this, make sure your dryer vents all have intact covers specially made for the purpose.
Install Window Well Covers
Although window wells may not lead inside your home directly, animals may be able to burrow in them. Some creatures may even use a window well as a den due to the proximity of your home’s warmth.
Ensure that all your window wells have strong covers on them that can withstand heavy snowfall as well as an animal’s weight. In addition to preventing the well from becoming a home, you’ll also ensure that animals won’t be able to fall in and get stuck, causing an unpleasant situation.
Tidy Up Your Home
Before winter hits, you’ll need to ensure that potential nesting areas aren’t too close to your home. Clean your gutters and downspouts, trim back trees, move firewood away from home, and keep any garbage in bins and away from the house.
In addition to winter-specific preparation, you’ll want to ensure that you keep your good habits up year-round. Ensure that crumbs and spills are cleaned up immediately, fix and remove potential water sources such as leaks as soon as you spot them, and declutter potential nesting areas like attics, basements, and utility rooms.
To learn more about how to prevent pests in the winter and during the rest of the year, contact Guardian Pest Control. We provide licensed pest prevention and removal services for both renters and homeowners whenever you need it.