As the temperature drops, you might be celebrating not dealing with nuisance pests anymore. Bye, bye mosquitoes! But saying good riddance to some pests this winter season might have you saying hello to others. Many pests like to ride out the cold in a warm, safe spot. Here are five tips to winterize your home and keep those overwintering pests out. And as a bonus, many of these tips not only protect your home from pests, they can also improve energy efficiency.
Common Overwintering Pests
Not all pests survive cold New England winters. But many do. They are called overwintering pests, and they seek shelter in homes, sheds, and woodpiles to stay alive. Common overwintering pests to be on the lookout for include:
- Mice and rats
- Squirrels and other small rodents
- Bed bugs
- Wasps and hornets
5 Pest Control Tips to Winterize Your Home
While some of these tips are useful in every season, they become even more important when the cold winter months set in. Tactics you can take that will help you winterize your home and protect it from pests include:
1. Adding insulation. Where air comes in, so can pests. Before adding insulation, push copper mesh exclusion material into cracks and holes. Then, add insulation that provides an extra layer between you and the pests that want to invade your home. Most local hardware stores as well as big name box stores stores carry fiberglass rolls for larger spaces that offer both pest prevention and heat retention. Top places to insulate with pest control in mind include the attic, basement, and exterior walls. Consider insulating your pipes as well. Pests look for any cracks or openings to find their way into your home, and sometimes that entrance is through your pipes. Plus, you won’t have to worry about your pipes bursting, which is a huge headache.
2. Storing firewood properly. Although it can be convenient, storing firewood close to your home or garage is like inviting pests to take up residence. Always store it at least 20 feet away from your home. It also helps to keep it off the ground by placing the wood on top of cinder blocks, bricks, or firewood grates. In addition, be sure to check your firewood before bringing it inside in case pests like mice or ants have made nests inside the logs.
3. Sealing gaps. Sealing gaps is another tip that helps with both energy costs and pest control. Common places where cold air—and pests—might gain entrance include doors, windows, and your chimney. You can even pick up foam sealant that offers additional pest repellency, just look for products labeled for pests. Also, investing in a door sweep is a cheap and effective way to keep pests from sneaking in and the warm air from getting out.
4. Covering your garbage. Pests aren’t picky eaters, which is why they love your garbage. To help reduce the temptation, store your garbage in a shed, garage, or behind closed doors if you can. If you can’t, be sure that you have secure lids for your garbage cans.
5. Checking your chimeny. Your chimney is like an open door for pests. It’s always a good idea to routinely have a chimney sweep performed to clear out debris. It’s also smart practice to install a chimney cap to prevent pests from gaining access to your home through your chimney.
Get Year Round Protection
Don’t think you can take the winter off from pest control. You have to be diligent year-round. If you’d like help keeping your home safe, call the pest control professionals at Ford’s Hometown Services. Our popular ultimate plan is a premier pest management program that will keep your home protected through every season. Call 800-649-9992 to learn more or get a quote today.