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Jan 12, 2022
Don't Let the Bugs Snug in Your Rug - Winter Pest Control
Pests are a difficult issue year-round. Just like humans, small animals and insects seek shelter in the warmth of a home in the cold winter months. Although many insects and rodents are dormant during the winter, some can remain active if provided the ideal environment. To avoid infestations it is important to secure your home from the outside and cut off pests from any food and water supply within!
Securing Your Home from the Outside
A great place to start is by checking the outside of your house for any cracks and holes particularly along the foundation, windows, and pipes. A small hole might not seem problematic, but a mouse can squeeze through a space the size of a dime! Since rodents can chew through a wide array of materials from improperly cured concrete to soft metals, it is important to seal holes along the outside of the home properly. A mix of steel wool and caulk will deter mice and rats because the steel wool will be too painful on their gums.
Just a quarter inch gap between a weather strip and window or door can be enough to let bugs in. Replacing cracked weather stripping during the cold months will not only help prevent household pests but has the added benefit of increasing the energy efficiency of your home by keeping warm air in and cold air out. Installing a door sweep can also prevent insects and spiders from easily crawling in through under doors.
Trees & Debris
Tree branches touching or hanging too close to your roof are like a ladder for critters to crawl up and jump into openings such as vents, pipes, or the chimney. Even screen coverings can’t always reliably deter the smallest and most determined of pests.
Yard debris outside the home such as piles of leaves and firewood are used as shelter from the cold during the winter months. Try keeping debris piles as far from the house as possible. A good rule of thumb is 20 feet or farther.
Don’t Give Pests a Place to Hide
Pests are difficult to control because they prefer to remain hidden. Watch for signs of rats and mice in the house such as droppings in the kitchen or rips on insulation and curtains! The fewer places they have to hide, the fewer reasons they’ll have to stay. Keep the home clean and uncluttered as much as possible inside and out. Messy piles of clutter and boxes collect dust and moisture, and are just the type of spot that pests like to hang out. A clean space will offer fewer hideouts and be far less appealing to pests.
Solving Your Pest Problem
Keeping food containers, sugar, rice, and pet food covered and sealed is important to avoid supplying pests with a food source that will encourage them to stay. Cleaning crumbs off the floor and counters and fixing any water leakage will cut pests off steady food and water sources, giving them more reason to move along.
What to do once you've spotted signs of a mouse or an insect infestation? A great place to start is with a repellant. Mouse repellant pouches and spray can be used in and around the home and contain essential oils that are pleasant to our own noses but aggravating to rodents. A non-lethal formula will ensure that you don't have to pick up any dead mice! Essential oil bug sprays can also be used indoors to discourage spiders and insects from entering and staying, and are safe for use around pets and kids. Insecticides such as Tempo can also be sprayed around the foundation of your home, cracks, windows and doors, and inside at the proper concentration, taking care to read safety instructions thoroughly.