Most people assume that bugs die down in the winter—and that’s mostly true, but there are plenty of pests who stay very busy long after it gets cold. The last thing you want is to realize that you have a bug or pest problem after it’s too late, especially around the holidays! Here are some things you can do to avoid a winter infestation, so you can focus on what’s important this season.
Make Sure They Can’t Get In
You should screen any attic vents or chimney openings your home has. Even if a lot of pests are slowing down for the winter, they’ll still look for a place to hunker down and stay warm. Your safe, cozy house is the perfect place for them to do that all winter long. By making sure all the obvious entry points are covered, you can keep them from getting in in the first place and wreaking havoc later on.
Also make sure you’re taking care of the less obvious entry points, like cracks and crevices around the outside of your home. Use some caulk and steel wool to seal them really well and pay extra close attention to whenever utility pipes enter your house—those are perfect places for pests to sneak in.
If you have mortar and weather stripping around your home’s foundation, this time of year is a perfect time to replace them to make sure everything is thoroughly sealed. If you don’t have these things, no worries—this is a great time to get them! Not only will it keep pests out, but it’ll also help keep things toasty in your house and eliminate drafts.
Another thing that can help keep things out and heat in are door sweeps. There are a lot of different kinds, many of which you can find at your local hardware store. They’re very easy to install, and will go a long way in keeping unwanted pests, dirt, and moisture out of your home. Also, if you have any screens, now’s a good time to repair any holes or rips.
Make sure you don’t have any moisture spots around your home. Bugs love moisture, and it’s usually in short supply during the colder months. Leaking pipes or clogged drains will attract them.
Make Sure You Don’t Bring Them In!
If you have firewood, store it at least 20 feet away from your house. Stacks of firewood make amazing shelters for pests, which they’ll be seeking as soon as it gets cold. Before bringing any inside your house, inspect firewood carefully. Bugs will happily hitch a ride inside. Be sure to keep your shrubbery well-trimmed, and not too close to the walls of your house.
In addition to inspecting firewood, inspect just about anything you bring inside! Boxes (especially boxes that may have been in storage somewhere for a while), outdoor plants, even groceries, are all things that bugs will gladly cling to to get inside.
Holiday decorations make great places to hide. When you’re taking things down in the new year and storing them in your attic or basement, be sure to check them thoroughly. Also, be sure you aren’t storing any food! Sounds like a no-brainer, right? There are a lot of holiday decor that you may not realize shouldn’t be stored. That includes moth balls, candy canes used for decoration, gingerbread homes, leftover candy, etc. Thinking twice about what you store in your home for a whole year will go a long way in protecting you from an infestation.
Notice pests in your home already? Vulcan Termite & Pest Control can help! Contact us today.