Your family may not be the only ones enjoying the warmth of your home. Pests such as rats, mice, cockroaches and some species of spiders have life cycles longer than a year, meaning they need to find shelter during the winter to survive. These pests can pose serious risks to both people and homes.
When making their nests in walls, rodents can chew on electrical wires and drywall, and they are known to pass on diseases such as salmonella and Hantavirus. Cockroaches can contaminate stored food, leave droppings around the home and trigger allergic asthma, especially in children. On top of all that, some spiders commonly found around homes are poisonous.
Screen attic vents and openings to chimneys, and any other areas where homes may be open to the outdoors, like mail slots and animal doors.
Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry. Pests are attracted to areas of moisture, something they need to survive. Using dehumidifiers in basements and garages will help keep these areas dry.
Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home using caulk and steel wool. Pay close attention to where utility pipes enter the structure. Some rodents can fit through a hole the size of a dime.
Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around the foundation and windows. These are easy ways to keep not only pests, but also cold air out of the house.
Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep shrubbery well trimmed. Removing areas where pests can hide near your home can reduce the chance of them finding a way inside.
Inspect items such as boxes of decorations, package deliveries, and grocery bags before bringing them indoors. Pests can find creative ways to get inside a home. Shake out or inspect anything that has been left or stored outside.
Avoid leaving pets’ food dishes out for long periods of time. Pests don’t discriminate between people food and cat food. Pet dishes that have been left sitting out are enticing for all kinds of insects and rodents.
The best way to protect your home and prevent any type of pest infestation during the winter is to follow these pest-proofing tips in the fall when the temperature begins to drop. However, if you think you have a pest infestation, be sure to contact AntiPest at www.antipestsolutions.com to assess the situation and recommend treatment.