How To Keep Out Winter Pests 14

Many of the things an animal needs – food, warmth, shelter – become more difficult to find in winter. Unfortunately, your home provides all of these things for a potential pest, which is why critters from mice and rats to spiders and cockroaches tend to make their way into residences during the winter months. These simple tips can help you critter-proof your home this season, leaving winter pests out in the cold.

  • Keep an eye out for entry points and keep them tightly sealed. Gaps, cracks and crevices around window screens, sliding doors and pipes can let in all sorts of pests. A mouse can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime, and insects need only the slightest crack. All sorts of sealing options are available, including calk, weather stripping and spray foam. Click here to check out our handy guide to sealing household cracks.

  • Inspect any firewood you bring into the house. Ants, termites and a variety of other insects can nest in firewood. Also, storing firewood on a raised platform before you bring it indoors can help keep pests from ever reaching it in the first place.

  • Trim back plants and bushes so that the branches and foliage don’t touch your house. Vegetation provides a natural pathway for all sorts of critters. Spiders are particularly well known for crawling in from outdoor plants through nearby windows.

  • Same goes for mulch – many pests, particularly insects, are attracted to moisture-rich habitats, so try not to let mulch touch your foundation. If you have an outdoor woodpile, compost pile or bags of mulch or leaves, keep them well away from your home.

  • Keep your house clean, especially the kitchen. Wipe down counters, rinse the sink, tightly seal leftovers and avoid letting dirty dishes sit around. These areas can attract many of the most common winter pests.

  • Keep attics and crawlspaces sealed up to keep out common attic pests like squirrels and raccoons. These animals are adept climbers, and can easily get in through gaps, open vents and chimneys.

  • Make sure your garage door closes tightly, and keep it shut whenever possible. The garage is one of the easiest parts of your home for pests to get into, so also make sure there are no pathways from the garage to the rest of your home.

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