Like it or not, we aren’t the only ones preparing ourselves and our homes for the winter chill. While we have the choice of turning up the heater or piling on the sweaters, pests have more limited options. Often, the most appealing one is moving in with us! To keep pests on their own turf, we’ve compiled a few ways to winterize your home against unwanted intruders.
Unlike insects, rodents can’t hibernate behind the bark of a tree or overwinter just below the frost line; they have to keep moving all winter long. Mice and rats are not comfortable in the open, though, so they need to identify sheltered areas that are close to food sources.
Debris like piles of leaves, compost heaps, firewood stacks, and construction materials all provide ideal nesting conditions. Try to get rid of what you can and move the remaining items at least 20 feet away from your home.
Inspect moisture sites
Inspect places of moisture both on the inside and outside of your house. Fix any leaking pipes or clogged drains and keep an eye on common moisture problem areas like bathrooms and kitchens.
Mice can contort their bodies to fit through spaces as small as a dime. Many insects require even less space. To winterize your home, caulk openings and damaged weather stripping, seal cracks in your foundation, and replace door sweeps that no longer function efficiently.
Take a look at your roof
Excluding hurricane season and the occasional heavy storm, you probably don’t think of your roof very often. However, if you have trees near your roof, their branches can serve as bridges to pests. Trim branches away from your roof if you can, and be sure that your chimney (if you have one) has a cap to prevent creatures from climbing or flying inside.
If pests have moved from your yard into your home, one likely area is the garage. They seek out more secure forms of shelter even within an area like this, so try to keep your space well organized. Store boxes off of the ground and sweep out leaves that may accumulate.
Eliminate food sources
Monitor potential pest food sources outside and inside your home. Keep lids firmly secured on outdoor garbage cans, move bird feeders away from your home, and store indoor food in airtight containers. If you have a pet, don’t leave their food in bowls on the floor. Seal up the bags and only place food out at meal times.
If you think that you may already have a pest problem in or near your home, contact Palmetto Exterminators for a free pest inspection. Our pest professionals can help you winterize your home against unwanted intruders this winter.