6 Winter Pest Proofing Tips

A woman cleaning the kitchen counter

It isn't uncommon to think that you are safe from the onslaught of pests in your home in the winter months. People tend to think that our little furry friends along with spiders and other bugs are either dormant or have already found other lodgings to wait out the cold months ahead. Realistically though, vigilance is still needed. It isn't unusual for rodents and wildlife to still be on the move looking for better digs on one of the warmer days or a spot where the food is more abundant. Warmer, sunnier days will also bring out eight-legged visitors, and the threat of kitchen pests such as beetles and ants is always a concern, no matter what time of year it is.

Some folks do not get too concerned seeing one stray bug or spider in their homes. They do not feel the need to worry too much about the wildlife that they see running around their yards in the warmer months like squirrels and raccoons but all of these creatures can cause havoc in your home if you are not careful. Though rare, the occasional spider you see might not be just a common house spider. A few poisonous varieties such as the brown recluse or black widow have been known to wander into a home looking for a nice quiet corner or closet to wait out the weather. Wild animals who could be carrying rabies or other diseases will biteĀ if they feel cornered or threatened. Not to mention, the damage that they can cause in attics, chimneys, and foundations as they try to nest to wait out the winter. Mice and other four-legged visitors will chew wires, and damage insulation to make their own surroundings more comfortable. Mice in particular have no problem traipsing into your kitchen and helping themselves to whatever food they can get spreading diseasesĀ like Salmonella and Hantavirus by leaving their droppings and saliva all over counters, in cupboards, on dishes, and in food. It's safe to say that no one really wants to share their homes with any of these winter pests, but what can we do to prevent it? Here are a few things that you can do to help keep your home safe this winter

  • Make sure that chimneys and vents are covered and in good repair. These spots are easy targets for wildlife and other pests to gain entrance to your home.
  • Repair all screens in windows and weather stripping around doors. Many animals and certainly insects do not need a large opening to get in.
  • Around the pipes coming into your home, you will see that there is space around them. These places should be sealed with caulking. You should also make sure that the pipes are not leaking to prevent any creature who is looking for a drink from finding their way to those spots.
  • Keep woodpiles at least 20 feet from your house. Wood piles are known hiding spots for mice, wildlife, and spiders. It is an easy transition from a woodpile to your front door.
  • Don't feed the animals. Make sure your food staples such as grains, rice, and cereals are stored in tightly sealed containers and that you are not leaving fruit, butter, or bread out on the counters. Kitchen pests and rodents will be attracted to your home if they know an easy meal is there for the taking.
  • Keep the kitchen clean. Sweeping and washing floors regularly, cleaning up any spills immediately, and keeping the dishes done will give you more than a sense of accomplishment. Kitchen pests will make a meal out of the tiniest bit of crust on a dish so the less attractive to them the better for your home.

Though not a guarantee, these tips should help you get through the winter without unintended houseguests but if you do find yourself with a pest problem always call your local pest professional to help take care of the problem.