We hate to burst your bubble, but summer isn’t the only time you have to combat pesky critters in and outside your home. The winter months are just as infamous for bringing out some of nature’s most ornery pests. Some of the most common ones—like mice, rats, raccoons, cockroaches and spiders—are likely looking to keep warm and will invade a home without your knowledge. The National Pest Management Association encourages homeowners to take some precautions when it comes to keeping their homes pest-free in winter.
Pests like mice can fit through an opening as small as a dime. Additionally, Norway rats can fit through an opening as small as ½ inch (or the size of a quarter). Be sure to not only check the inside, but inspect the outside of the home for any gaps or crack and fill them with silicone caulk and steel wool.
Discard boxes and old food
Insects like German cockroaches love to find small spaces near moisture or food. To avoid these insects in your home, keep areas clear and store boxes off of the floor because mice like to hide in clutter as well. Regularly inspect the home for signs of mice, such as droppings, gnaw marks and damaged food.
Keeping your home clean should be a priority during winter. It’s easy to get lax on regular cleaning and disinfecting, but it’s an activity that can help you avoid unwanted pests in your home. Be sure to keep counters and floors clean and free of crumbs. Vacuum frequently and dispose of garbage regularly.
Store clothing properly
If your home has an attic or basement where you store unused, seasonal clothing or athletic gear, make sure you store these items properly. Putting clothing in sealed storage bags or bins can help keep insects like Brown Recluse spiders from making a cozy home. If your home is known to have spiders and you think you may have been bitten by one, seek medical attention immediately.
Relocate trash receptacles
Raccoons love to riffle through trash, regardless of the season. When trash day comes and goes, make sure to relocate your trash bins to a locked shed or garage so that critters don’t turn them into a smorgasbord.
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