The Keys to Winter Pest-ProofingMissy Henriksen
Friday, December 13, 2013
How to Keep the Warmth In and the Pests Out
One noticeable change in the outdoors
as winter approaches is the absence of flying insects such as
mosquitoes, flies, and bees. We associate these pests with summer
and fall, a nuisance to outdoor activities, and are thankful that
the colder weather brings relief from their stings and bites. But a
lack of flying pests does not mean a lack of all pests during the
Whereas mosquitoes and bees were flying overhead in the summer,
mice, cockroaches, and spiders could be crawling underfoot during
the winter. These pests are seeking shelter from the cold, and
unfortunately our warm homes seem cozy to them too. It is important
to take preventative measures to keep pests out because they can
cause more hazards than just cobwebs in the corner. Rodents are known to
carry diseases such as Salmonella and Hantavirus, certain spiders can bite,
causing serious side effects, and cockroaches can be a trigger for asthma and
The National Pest
Management Association (NPMA) has several tips that every
homeowner can use to help prevent these winter pests from gaining
access to the home.
- Seal cracks and holes on the outside of your home to help
prevent rodents from getting inside. Be sure to check the areas
where utilities and pipes enter the home. A mouse can fit through a
hole the size of a dime.
- Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement
foundation and windows.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home. Mice and ants
can make their nests in wood piles and easily gain access to your
home if the pile is nearby.
- Rodents can hide in clutter, so keep storage areas well
organized, and store boxes off of the floor.
- Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and
clogged drains. Extra attention should be paid to kitchens and
bathrooms as these areas are particularly vulnerable to cockroach
- Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens in windows.
- Screen vents to chimneys. Keep attics, basements and crawl
spaces well ventilated and dry.
Winter brings enough worry about home damage with wind, snow and
frost. Following these tips will help reduce the likelihood of your
home experiencing other seasonal problems due to pests. When winter
pests are kept outdoors, your home becomes a healthier place to
host holiday parties and spend time with family, and that is what
the season should be all about.
If you suspect you have a pest infestation, contact a pest
professional. For quick tips on preventing a pest infestation
when decorating, check out our Holiday Decorating Done Right