By the time winter rolls around, you probably think you’ve gotten through the worst of pest season. However, when it’s cold outside, you’re not the only one who wants to head inside to keep warm. This means your home will still be susceptible to unwanted critters. So, ahead of freezing temperatures and snuggly nights indoors, prepare your home with these five tips. That way, you can keep the heat in — and keep pests out.
Double-Check the Firewood
There’s nothing better than a roaring fire on winter’s coldest, darkest nights — that is, until you carry a pest in with the wood you’ll throw into the blaze. Before bringing any firewood indoors, then, you’ll want to inspect it to ensure there aren’t any riders attached. And you should only bring logs inside when it’s time for a fire to reduce the risk of pests coming in and settling inside. Instead, store your wood a good 20 feet from your home, so it doesn’t encourage unwanted guests to make their abode right next to yours.
There are plenty of ways to store firewood to prevent contact with insects. Aside from keeping your logs far from your door, you should also stack your cylinders on top of cinderblocks or another material that stands between them and the ground. Contact with the dirt is an open invitation for bugs to move in and, later, for them to come into your home with the firewood.
Keep Other Habitats Away, Too
To that end, you should eliminate any other places where a rodent or bug would be able to hide or make a home too close to yours. Start with your trash cans. If you keep them outdoors, place them at least 10 feet from any doors, windows or other openings pests could find as they raid the bins. Always make sure to close them tightly, too — otherwise, you might start having a problem with hungry raccoons rifling through your trash.
Keep an eye on your lawn and clean up any fallen foliage, trash or anything else that could create shelter. Pull dead shrubs and move any other greenery 10 feet away from your home as well.
Seal Any Cracks – Even the Smallest Ones
Most mice are between 2.5 and 3.75 inches long, and you would be amazed at the minuscule cracks they can squeeze their way through. So, give your home a thorough inspection before the cold weather arrives. The most notorious entryways for rodents are cracks around your windows, doors and other openings. You should also check utility lines that enter your home — not only do they lay a pathway straight indoors, but they often give off heat, which attracts rodents directly to them. Seal up space around them to safeguard your home.
To keep pests out, now’s the time to be on the lookout for leaks or drips, too. Again, these small cracks may not seem much more than an annoyance to you, but more than just water will drop in if you leave them unfilled. Openings along your roof line could beckon bats to set up house, for instance.
Seal Shoes in an Airtight Container
This is probably the last thing you want to hear, but your shoes are the ideal living quarters for a spider — they’re dark, quiet and sheltered inside, after all. So, rather than leaving your shoes in a pile or strewn about the garage, be sure to place them inside a container with a lid and seal it shut. Voila — no web inside your shoes this year.
On that note, be sure to clear out any other piles you have that might attract a spider or bug in need of a habitat. This is especially important in places they’re likely to gather. Your home’s dark, humid corners are where they’re likely to reside, so don’t attract them to move in with clutter in your garage, basement, attic, etc. Mice will also be happy to call your clutter home, although they prefer to move into storage boxes or similar spaces. Keep an eye out for droppings or bite marks to find out if you’ve got a rodent problem.
Clean Countertops Thoroughly
Where insects look for a place to hide out, rodents come into your home for a bite to eat. And, if you’re not correctly cleaning your counters and other food-prep and eating areas, you’re sending out a beacon to rodents in the vicinity that dinners served at your place tonight.
So, learn how to scour your countertops properly. For example, wipe down granite with warm, soapy water before rinsing it away. Once you’ve got the cleaning regimen down, be sure you’re diligent with food storage — keep your opened eats in airtight containers if necessary. And, of course, fill your dishwasher or wash your dishes after each meal, so no scraps are sitting around in the sink.
Cozy up Sans Pests
With these five sweeping measures, you will have a home that’s much safer against the threat of wintertime pests. Now, the only thing bugging you will be that outstanding holiday shopping list, but we won’t remind you of that. Instead, snuggle up in your well-protected home and breathe a sigh of relief — you’ve now done all you can to keep pests out this winter.
About the Author
Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Ruffled, and more! Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!
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