Winter time means the weather is getting colder, people stop spending as much time outside and seek shelter inside when it gets too cold to tolerate.  Unfortunately, animals and insects follow the same sort of schedule when the weather turns cold.  Because of this, it’s important to know how to keep pests out of your home during the winter.

To help prevent pests from entering your home during the winter, it’s important to follow a sort of “winterization” process to seal up your home and to remove any potential attractants from around your home.

Follow these simple steps to start winterizing your home:

Get Rid of Hiding Places

When the weather gets cold, rodents and insects look for warm places to hide. Predatory insects like spiders move inside looking for a meal.  Rodents are looking for a place to build a nest that’s warm and has access to food.  To prevent these critters from coming inside, you need to eliminate any potential hiding places that may act as a nest or warmth provider.

  • Clean out your gutters and downspouts to remove debris
    • Check your downspouts and make sure they’re directing water away from the home
  • Get rid of any piles of debris, limbs, firewood or anything else that creates a hiding space near your home
  • Store your firewood away from your home, keeping it covered and off of the ground
  • Keep trash cans away from your home, discarded food is an attractant for hungry animals
  • Make sure any trees or shrubbery are trimmed and not touching the home. Tree limbs that reach over your home can provide entry methods for critters to get into your home

Seal Off Potential Entrances

Once you’ve eliminated attractants and hiding places from your home, you’ll want to make sure to close off any openings that might allow animals to enter your home.  Fortunately, this also has the added benefit of helping to reduce your heating bill, by sealing off areas where cold air may be leaking into your home.

  • Check seals and weather stripping around doors, windows and garage entrances. Any worn (or chewed through) seals should be replaced.
  • Examine the foundation of your home and seal any cracks or openings you may find. Any weep holes in brick foundations can be sealed with steel wool or custom made products (avoid blocking these holes as they are designed to allow ventilation)
  • Ensure vents in your attic are sealed tightly, replace any loose or worn out vents

Sealing off entrances and removing debris from around your home can help prevent creatures from coming into your home during the winter, but cannot replace the services of a professional pest control company.  To ensure that your home is protected, consider hiring a professional to tie up any loose ends that may be left.

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