The holidays are upon us and that means one of two things: family and friends flooding your house or traveling to visit loved ones. It makes the perfect opportunity for overwintering pests to sneak into your empty home unnoticed.
Overwintering pests are the insects and animals that seem to disappear for the winter. Instead of disappearing, these pests find a warm, safe space to lie dormant for the winter. Your home provides the ideal winter hideout for insects such as stink bugs, Asian lady beetles and boxelder bugs, to name a few. This is also the ideal time for rodents such as mice, rats and squirrels to escape the winter elements in your home until warmer weather arrives.
If you are planning to leave for the holiday be sure to prepare your home and eliminate any possible points of entry before you leave. Taking preventative pest control measures for keeping pests from moving in your home is much easier than fighting an infestation.
There’s still time before winter arrives in Northern Texas to make sure your home is protected. Use these simple tips for keeping these common pests from moving into your home.
Tips for Keeping Pests from Moving In:
- Repair torn screens. Small holes can be repaired by applying a clear coat of nail polish. Patch larger holes with a small piece of mesh screen over the hole. Most screens can be repaired to an extent before a whole new screen will need to be purchased.
- Seal cracks with high quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk. Check both the inside and outside of your home for any cracks. Even the smallest gaps should be sealed. Check areas such as the roof, decks and porches, pipes, foundation, flooring and walls.
- Install door sweeps on exterior entrances. A door sweep seals gaps between the bottom of the door and the threshold. Not only will this make heating and cooling your home more efficient, it is excellent for keeping out insects!
- Inspect foundations, basements, crawlspaces and attics for any signs of pests. Humans don’t spend a lot of time in these areas so pests often go unnoticed. Check these regularly for droppings, nests and other signs of pests. If you notice anything unusual call a professional for a comprehensive assessment and eradication plan.
- Trim any tree limbs or bushes that may be touching your house. Both rodents and insects will use these as a land bridge to enter your home. Check and trim them regularly.
- Get rid of as much clutter as possible, and store items in sealable plastic tubs. Most pests love to hide in dark, moist areas where you will never notice them. A cardboard box in your basement or attic makes the perfect home. Protect your belongings and your home from pests by investing in sealable plastic tubs. The tubs will protect your items from moisture and dust and make a less hospitable home for overwintering pests.
- When not in use, store pet food in chew-proof containers. Rodents, especially, will see your pet’s food as an all you can eat buffet. Never feed your pets outside and keep their food in a secure area.
- Eliminate moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains. Overwintering pests will be drawn to the most hospitable home they can find for the winter and this means warm places that have a water source or moisture. Check your home for any leaks, standing water or condensation. It doesn’t take much moisture to draw them in.
- Store food in airtight containers. Make sure all counters and cabinets are clean of loose food. Store cereals, grains and other non-refrigerated open foods in airtight containers to make your kitchen less inviting to pests.
- Dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles. Garbage inside and outside of the house should be disposed of in sealed receptacles. If not sealed, outside garbage is a huge opportunity for rodents and insects. Make sure your outside garbage receptacle is sealed shut. Larger rodents, like raccoons, will remove lids if not fastened.
Coming home to a pest infestation is one of the worst ways to spend the holiday season. If you think you may already have pests trying to move in, use these tips immediately. Our experts at ABC Home and Commercial are available for complete home inspections and to help you identify any potential entry points. We specialize in personalized treatment and eradication plans unique for your home.
For more information about keeping pests from moving in this winter, contact ABC Home and Commercial today. Our experts can help identify any potential entry points. If you think you may already have an infestation ABC Home and Commercial is here to help! Call today!