Top 10 Pest-Proofing Tips For FallMissy Henriksen
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Cold weather brings
everyone indoors. Sitting in your living room with a pair of
slippers and a blanket wrapped around your shoulders can be a
comforting feeling… until a mouse scurries across the
Your family may not be the only ones enjoying the warmth of your
home. Pests such as rats, mice, cockroaches and some species of
spiders have life cycles longer than a year, meaning they need to
find shelter during the winter to survive. These pests can pose
serious risks to both people and homes.
When making their nests in walls, rodents can chew on
electrical wires and drywall, and they are known to pass on
diseases such as salmonella and Hantavirus. Cockroaches can
contaminate stored food, leave droppings around the home and
trigger allergic asthma, especially in children. On top of all
that, some spiders
commonly found around homes are poisonous.
Below are ten pest-proofing tips from the National Pest
Management Association (NPMA) that every homeowner can follow to
keep pests outside during the fall and winter:
- Screen attic vents and openings to chimneys, and any other
areas where homes may be open to the outdoors, like mail slots and
- Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and
dry. Pests are attracted to areas of moisture, something they need
to survive. Using dehumidifiers in basements and garages will help
keep these areas dry.
- Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home using caulk
and steel wool. Pay close attention to where utility pipes enter
the structure. Some rodents can fit through a hole the size of a
- Keep kitchen counters clean, store food in airtight containers
and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles. Crumbs and
a buildup of garbage are attractive to pests scrounging for food.
It is recommended to clean up after each meal and to properly close
garbage cans when they are stored in the home or garage.
- Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around the
foundation and windows. These are easy ways to keep not only pests,
but also cold air out of the house.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep
shrubbery well trimmed. Removing areas where pests can hide near
your home can reduce the chance of them finding a way inside.
- Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens. Torn window
screens and cracks under doors are an ideal entry point for
household pests. When you open the window, you could be letting in
more than just fresh air.
- Inspect items such as boxes of decorations, package deliveries,
and grocery bags before bringing them indoors. Pests can find
creative ways to get inside a home. Shake out or inspect anything
that has been left or stored outside.
- Avoid leaving pets’ food dishes out for long periods of time.
Pests don’t discriminate between people food and cat food. Pet
dishes that have been left sitting out are enticing for all kinds
of insects and rodents.
- Have a proper outdoor drainage system. Installing gutters or
repairing an existing system will help draw water and moisture away
from your home, preventing any leaks or build up that might attract
The best way to protect your home and prevent any type of pest
infestation during the winter is to follow these pest-proofing tips
in the fall when the temperature begins to drop. However, if you
think you have a pest infestation, be sure to contact a pest
professional to assess the situation and recommend