In a previous blog, we provided you with tips to mouse-proof your home during the summer. But as the days and nights get colder, it’s more important than ever to protect your home against pests.
You can use many of the tips in our mouse-proofing blog to winterize your home against mice and rats, but what about bugs?
Below, we’ve listed a few tips to help you winterize your home against insects. As you implement a few of these methods, you can keep creepy crawlies out of your home and avoid a potential winter infestation.
Clear Away Outside Debris
The best way to prevent pests from getting inside your home is to make sure that they don’t live near it. Many bugs take shelter in gardens, trees, bushes, and other forms of vegetation. Some even like to live in damp, dark piles of leaves on the ground or in the leaves in your gutters.
Make sure to clear away any debris outside your home. This step reduces the amount of bugs living near your home during the winter.
Take the following steps to ensure your yard is clear of debris:
- Clean out your gutters as thoroughly as possible, especially before it starts to snow. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this job yourself, hire a cleaning specialist to do it for you.
- Hire a tree trimming expert to remove hanging branches from your trees. These professionals can also cut back overhanging branches correctly and safely to keep them away from your home.
- Many bugs use thick layers of dirt and plant life to hide as they scurry towards your house. If you have a garden, make sure the soil, mulch, and decaying plants don’t sit too close to your home.
- You should also trim or remove any bushes near your home. Again, if you aren’t sure how to trim or remove these plants correctly, ask a tree trimming company to take care of the job for you.
Seal Any Cracks or Holes
Your home contains many entry points that bugs like to use. They can fly in through open windows and doors or crawl in through the chimney and fireplace. Your walls might even have cracks that welcome bugs inside. Whatever the case, insects will use these small crevices to get inside your home and stay warm in the winter.
Try the following steps to seal possible entrances:
- Patch any holes in your window screens.
- Close your chimney flue when you aren’t using your fireplace.
- Replace the weatherstripping under your garage door. You can also add weatherstripping to your front door, back door, and windows. Add new caulking around cracked window ledges.
- Repair any holes or cracks in your walls and doors.
- Check inside and outside your home for water damage or wood rot.
Remember to inspect your home’s foundation as well. Not sure if your foundation has cracks or holes? Call a contractor and have him or her inspect this base structure for you. Professional contractors can easily pinpoint problem areas in your foundation and repair the issue quickly.
Organize Your Pantry
Open food sources attract dozens of different bugs into your home. As you work to winterize your home, take some time to organize your pantry or kitchen cupboards. If you have any open food packages in your kitchen, bugs will actively seek them out.
To avoid seeing bugs in your pasta, rice, or other dried foods, seal all open packages inside airtight containers. Many insects (such as drug store beetles and Indian meal moths) enjoy the same foods your pets do, so remember to store the following pet foods in airtight containers as well:
- Bird seed
- Cat food
- Dog food
- Dried treats Fish food
You can also call your local pest control company to learn more about which pantry items bugs like to munch on.
Fix Any Leaks
Just as insects need a reliable food source to survive through the winter, they also require a water source. And if you have any leaks in your home, these bugs will take advantage of the abundance of water.
Inspect the following areas of your home for leaks:
- Showers and tubs
- Water heaters
- Water lines to your fridge
If you find a small leak in your home, you can patch it on your own. However, the most effective solution is to call an HVAC specialist or plumber to repair the leaks instead. These professionals can seal leaks properly to prevent future issues. Additionally, they can inspect your home for leaks behind walls and under floors and repair the damage.
Talk to a Pest Control Specialist
Use the tips above to safeguard your home against insects this winter. Should you find any pests in your home, get in touch with your local pest control specialist. These professionals can remove any bugs from your home so it can stay pest-free throughout the season.
For more information about keeping your home pest-free, check out the rest of our blog!