We were recently contacted by Ryan Smith from Redfin to contribute to the following article. Read on for tips from us and other pest control professionals on getting your home winter-ready!
Winter is here! That means more time spent inside away from chilly temperatures and drab weather outside. Unfortunately, humans aren’t the only ones that like to snuggle up and get out of the cold. Mice, cockroaches, spiders, and other critters could be lurking in the nooks and crannies of your home as you read this! Fortunately, we’ve gathered pest control experts from around the country to help you keep your home critter-free during colder months. Whether you’re in Salt Lake City or Providence, read on to hear what the experts recommend for keeping pests out of your home this winter!
Chase Goodeill, Pest Control Consultants: If you are looking for a way to keep the walls and ceiling voids of your home free of overwintering pests, consider the following tips:
• Use a caulking gun and quality caulk to seal up holes in your home’s exterior foundation, gaps around window and door frames, and gaps around utility piping.
• Clean regularly and in areas where you might usually miss such as in the basement and under furniture and appliances. (MICE LOVE CLUTTER)
• Reduce moisture around your home by installing dehumidifiers in particularly humid areas and by fixing leaks.
Ty Ashcraft, Holistic Pest Solutions: Did you know that the territory for a nest of rats can be up to 450 feet? Sealing up entry gaps smaller than 1/4” through the foundations of your home before pests mark it as a point of interest is important! Mice also often enter your home by coming up next to plumbing pipes, so using steel wool or copper mesh to close any open space around the pipes is a great way to help with control.
B & B Pest Control: Keep clean – rodents and other pests love dirty places with enough food for them to survive. This includes standing water or any other food or water sources that may be readily available to pests on your property.
Eric Clapper, Tri-X Pest Management: Spaces, Gaps, and Holes – Oh My! A gap the size of an adult pinky finger (1/4 inch) is large enough for mice to fit through. If it’s as big as an adult thumb (1/2 inch), a rat can squeeze in! And if you think that’s crazy, how about the fact that if your credit card can fit under, so can a scorpion! It’s a great time to check and fix or replace worn-out weather stripping around all windows and doors. Also, check for any other gaps or holes around that can be an easy entry access for pests to invade your home.
Pro Active Pest Control: Start with your yard. Make sure your landscaping and bushes are well-trimmed. This will increase airflow and decrease moisture that pests love. In the same way, trim back tree branches from the exterior of your home. Pests such as squirrels and rats use these overhangs to gain access to your roofline to get inside.
Complete Pest Solutions: While most people know that sealing holes and gaps in their home and its foundation is an important step in preventing pests from moving in, there’s an often-overlooked measure – gutter cleaning. Gutters filled with leaves and other debris give pests such as mosquitoes, ants, and even mice a place to breed and multiply… and then take up residence inside your home! Having your gutters cleaned is a simple solution in preventing and eliminating a variety of pest issues year-round, both inside and out.
Chris Ernst, Catchmaster: The most important, and most enduring, tip for pest-proofing your home this winter is exclusion. Exclusion is the process of sealing up your home to prevent rodents from getting inside. Give the exterior of your home a thorough inspection and seal up any possible entrance points like cracks in foundations or gaps in doorways. An adult mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime but, fortunately, an ounce of rodent prevention can be worth a pound of cure.
The Pest Rangers: Keeping rodents out should be a concern to homeowners as the temperature drops. Let’s face it just like us rodents want a warm place to shelter down in the colder months and have all the food and water they need in your home. Take a walk around your home looking for entry points such as cracks and pipe ways sealing them with caulking and steel wool. The steel wool makes it difficult for rodents to chew through.
Doug Nolan, New Mexico Pest Control: In the winter we typically see a big upsurge in rodent activity so be sure that your house is properly sealed against these pests. Check that all of your doors seal properly, especially garage doors as this is a common entry point. Don’t have firewood stacked up too close to the house as this not only attracts termites but rodents will also commonly nest in stacked firewood or other items left out in the yard.
Watchdog Pest Control: During the wintertime, pests try to get inside your home because it’s warmer. The best advice we could give to keep them out, would be to make sure that the doorways and windows of your home are properly sealed with caulk or weatherstripping. Those areas are often neglected by homeowners and are the most often used areas by pests to enter the home.
Originally published on Redfin