Another winter is upon us. As a homeowner, you must do a lot to prepare your home for the elements. Even if you live in an area with milder winters, taking steps to protect your space from winter household pests throughout the season is essential. Some homeowners may not be aware of how vital pest prevention is during the winter.
Even though many pests do not survive the winter and are more active in the spring and summer, some can make it through the colder months. In fact, during these colder months, they are generally in search of two things – warmth and food. Your house can be the perfect winter getaway for pests if you are not keeping up with preventative maintenance and staying vigilant.
Mice and Rats
No matter how cute TV shows and movies make these rodents look, you don’t want them in your home. As mammals, mice and rats stand a better chance of surviving the winter than invertebrate pests. They will find any holes or entry points in your house and hide inside where it is warm.
Since both mice and rats rely on their sense of smell, other mice and rats will track the scent to your house, and they can keep coming until there’s an entire infestation. Some critical preventative tasks include fixing gaps in your roof, sealing pipes or cracks with caulk, storing food and items in plastic or glass containers, replacing weathering strips on windows, and keeping attics and garages tidy.
Cockroaches can have a hard time surviving the winter. However, since they are attracted to moisture and excess water, you’re at risk for cockroaches if you have leaks in your house. Cockroaches also multiply quickly, so taking action, squashing the problem soon, and avoiding an infestation is essential.
You should check around the house for any leaks and get those fixed immediately – this will also help you avoid water damage. Your pipes deserve special attention during the winter because if temperatures get cold enough and the water in your pipes freezes, your pipe can burst. Further, you should also keep food away at night, vacuum regularly, and keep trash away.
Like mice and rats, bats are more likely to survive the winter than insects. Bats are notorious for hiding away in attics of homes since they can nest high up and typically be unbothered in those spaces. Winter is a tough time for bats since many insects they feed die out from the cold or are harder to find. Thus, if a bat finds the attic in your home warm and dry and includes small insects for it to eat, you’ve got yourself a new housemate.
Your best bet to prevent bats is to seal gaps around the attic, regularly check your attic, and keep smaller insects out of your home. You should also check your chimney and seal it with a cap, so bats don’t hang inside.
Bed bugs also have a hard time surviving through the winter, but they are just as important to watch for. Bed bugs hang around boxes, furniture, clothes, bedding, and even luggage. If you are traveling throughout the winter season, you’ll want to be sure you don’t bring these pests back home. Staying vigilant is your best defense.
Always check the mattress when traveling and sleeping somewhere new, your furniture, and your luggage before you leave. Bed bugs are small and can even be challenging to see without the right light, so check carefully. You should also wash your bed sheets on high heat and wash your clothes.
Moths and Spiders
Unfortunately, spiders and moths can be a nuisance all year round. If you tend to bring out wool coats, sweaters, and blankets in the winter, you’ll want to check for moths frequently. To prevent moths, you can use mothballs and regularly clean out closets and wardrobes. Spiders also like anywhere dark and quiet in your home. Homeowners should dust frequently and keep basements, attics, and garages tidy.
Even with these pest prevention tips, pests may still enter your home this winter. If this does happen, there is no need to beat yourself up about it if you have been taking care of your space – pests entering houses are a fact of life. However, you do need to assess the situation quickly. In most cases, you should seek professional pest control before the situation gets out of hand or becomes an entire infestation.
PestShield is committed to keeping our customers’ homes safe and pest-free this winter and all year around. Our expert team will help exterminate the pests and go through preventative measures to shield your home from a future infestation. We would love to help with your questions and pest-control needs, so do not hesitate to reach out to us today!