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5 At-Home Winter Pest Control Tips

Winter pest tips — mouse in snowIt’s beginning to look a lot like winter, and we aren’t the only ones to take notice. While pest infestations are usually seen as a problem during spring and summer, both animals and insects are looking to seek shelter in any warm place they can find. Houses can be an easy targets during cold weather because of their ability to provide unique habitats to survive. We’ve assembled five helpful tips to get you started on keeping vermin at bay this winter.

1. Remove Outside Debris and Clutter

Before winter begins, take the time to secure the perimeter of your property from critters by removing as much debris from fall as possible. Small animals – such as mice and other rodents – love to hide and stay out of the open. Leaves, tree branches, and other material provide havens for these pests to stay out of sight and establish nests near your home. This can increase the likelihood that they might attempt to find more substantial shelter in places you don’t want them in.

Raking leaves and picking up sticks/branches is a great way to stop possible infestations. If you have firewood, we suggest storing it a minimum of 20 feet away from the building. By doing this, you also keep bugs – like carpenter ants – away from your place.

2. Seal & Fill Any Openings

After taking care of your yard, it is time to look at the condition of the house itself. Carefully inspect the exterior and seal any openings that you find. It doesn’t take much of a gap in a door or window for pests to invite themselves inside. A mouse only needs a dime-sized hole to make their way through, and insects are good at finding even smaller spaces.

To eliminate these types of issues, you can use silicone caulk for sealing damaged weather stripping around doors and windows. Also, check on the condition of your foundation. Cracks can be filled with caulk or concrete. If holes are found, a temporary fix can be made by stuffing metal mesh or steel wool into those gaps.

3. Check Your Roof & Clean Gutters

Roofs and gutters are some of the most easily overlooked areas. Notice any tree branches that look like they could brush up against the roof? Then they are probably too close and need to be trimmed back anywhere from 8-10 feet. Branches can be used like a bridge for squirrels and other wildlife to gain access to your house from above. Other points of access on the roof that need to be inspected include chimneys and attic vents.

Gutters tend to collect leaves and debris during fall. If left unchecked, small creatures can use gutters as a safe place to hide and breed. Cleaning your gutters at least twice a year will help prevent this from happening.

4. Inspect Your Pipes

Animals and insects alike are searching for every opportunity to find a point of entry. Pipes are another way for them to sneak in unnoticed. Any tiny gaps or cracks around pipes are a cause for concern. By insulating and filling any openings, you not only shut the door on pests but also reduce the risk of pipes bursting in cold winter temperatures.

Another reason to evaluate pipes is to identify if there are any leaks. Bugs - especially cockroaches – thrive when they have access to a source of water in a damp area. So, check underneath the sinks and quickly repair leaky pipes.

5. Clean Inside The Home

Just like spring cleaning provides peace of mind during the summer, giving your home a good cleaning in fall keeps everything tidy enough to eliminate conditions that would be beneficial for vermin to flourish during winter. Take away sources of food by thoroughly sterilizing your kitchen, especially in and around appliances, cabinets, and food pantries. Store items in plastic containers rather than cardboard and keep them off of the floor. Cardboard is commonly used by bugs and rodents for building material and as a place to hide.

Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to decrease the likelihood of a pest problem this winter. But these persistent creatures can still creep in, despite doing everything by the book. That doesn’t mean you can’t fight back. Kness Pest Defense products are designed to stop the problem in its tracks. With tried-and-true traps like the Kness Ketch-All® Multiple Catch MousetrapPro-Ketch® Mousetrap, or Stick-All® Glue Trap, you’ll be able to make sure that pests never get a chance warm-up where they’re not wanted.

For more pest prevention tips, browse through our Pest Control Center — or take action with one of our pest control products.