As November winds down, you’ve probably noticed a distinct chill in the air. This isn’t your imagination: winter is nearly here and that means temperatures are starting to tumble. When they do, creatures that normally live their lives outside try to seek shelter and protection from the elements however they can. Unfortunately for you, your home is an incredibly convenient solution to this problem, and its large size often means many different invaders can sneak in undetected. This means that before long, you might start to find bugs and other pets in places you really don’t want them, such as bedrooms, bathrooms, your kitchen or pantry, and more.
How can you keep your home pest-free this winter? The secret lies in your winter preparation. Check out these few valuable tips on how to pest-proof your home while preparing it for winter.
Cut Away Overhanging Trees & Bushes
Pests aren’t always getting into your home from ground level. In fact, with so much effort put into dealing with things around the ground level (where we tend to live our lives), many people often completely forget about or overlook the roof over their heads. Roofs are not as sealed as we think they are—they feature a number of gaps for ventilation. Whether it’s your furnace exhaust, your chimney, or even ventilation for your attic, there are plenty of ways that a pest could sneak in. In some cases, pests climb to your roof by scaling your walls, but the majority of the time these pests get help from overhanging tree branches.
Trimming away any trees that have started to encroach over your roof eliminates them as an option, particularly for rodents like mice, rats, and squirrels. This makes it immensely more difficult for these critters to get into your home through your attic, thus making it all the more likely that your home remains pest-free during the winter months.
Check Your Walls for Large Cracks & Gaps
Back down on ground level, you’ll want to take the opportunity before winter temperatures set in fully to go around your home and carefully look for any large cracks or gaps that might exist in your walls. These tiny cracks or gaps are the perfect entry point for bugs, though they may not look like it. Even though bugs may seem to have a hard outer shell, they can squeeze their bodies through gaps that are substantially thinner than they are, meaning it doesn’t take much for bugs to get in.
Purchase some liquid weather sealing from your local hardware store and fill in any gaps you’re able to find in your walls or around your foundation. Doing so and giving it ample time to dry will keep your home protected from bugs both large and small. That includes spiders, ants, roaches, and many more. Bear in mind, however, that bugs can scale walls, and that means upper stories are also vulnerable. If bugs have a way to get in,
Seal Windows & Doors
Finally, you’ll want to take the opportunity to truly seal your doors and windows. If they’re big enough for you to fit through, then bugs certainly can get through as well. However, in many cases, the door or window doesn’t even need to be open for a small insect to squeak their way in. In many cases, the gap created by a crack in the weather seal is enough to provide pests with an invitation inside. Ants, gnats, and plenty of others can all find their way in, particularly if they catch a whiff of some sort of an appetizing food source like trash or sweets that have been left out.
Believe it or not, this simple preparation is also great for your energy bills as well. Air leaks around doors and windows cost the average homeowner quite a bit in lost energy every year, thus leading to higher heating bills and more money out of your pocket. Making this simple change helps you keep more heat inside, keep bugs out, and keep you more comfortable in more ways than one!
If you find yourself dealing with a frustrating pest problem, or if you come across an unexpected pest invasion during your winter preparations, call the team at Hopper Termite & Pest, Inc. at (479) 332-3745.