Protecting A Home From Pests In The Winter

There are a number of different pests that can take up residence in a home during the winter. Several types of insects, reptiles and rodents actually become dormant during the winter and do not present a problem. There are just as many, however, that will seek out the warm interior of a home for the cold months. There are a few tips that can help any homeowner to protect a house from a winter infestation.

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Seal Openings In Exterior Walls

The most important concept when attempting to make a pest-free home is exclusion. Exclusion means making it as difficult as possible for pests like roaches or mice to physically enter a home. This is done by examining all of the exterior walls in a home and locating any cracks or gaps. Openings generally appear around fixtures that are set into the wall like lights, pipes and electrical or cable outlets. These openings should be cleaned and then sealed with caulk so nothing can pass through. Exceptionally wide areas like an opening around a pipe can be sealed against pests by stuffing steel wool into the space.

Clear Areas Outside Of The House

Furniture, yard waste, piles of firewood and other materials that are in the yard create regions where pests can happily nest. These pests will survive into the first part of the cold weather and might find a way to enter the home. Additionally, shrubs or other plants that have grown throughout the summer will provide a safe haven for pests until they find a way inside. It is best to remove all waste, wood and other items so that there is a clear area around the house that is a few feet wide. Plants need to be trimmed back so that they do not provide cover for pests directly next to the outer walls.

Store Animal Food In Sealed Containers

Certain pests that make it into the home will not be a problem if there is no food available. Some households have bags of cat or dog food sitting in exposed areas like a garage or basement. It is easy to forget about bags of bird food or feed for other animals. All of these are rich food sources for mice and other pests. It is important to store all of these items in a sealed container. The container will prevent pests from finding the food and will also keep it fresh for a longer period of time.

Replace Insulation Around Windows

A common pest control task before the winter is to check and replace any insulation around the windows in a home. Insulation around the window, caulk and weather-stripping can become loose or ineffective over time. This creates an opening that mice, roaches and other pests can slip through. It is best to completely remove any insulation that has started to degrade and then replace it with new material. Extra protection such as plastic heat-activated barriers or tape will help to create a tight seal that pests are unable to break through.

This is a guest post by Pest Pro Canada, offering professional pest control services in Toronto and surrounding areas.  http://www.pestprocanada.com/pest-control-mississauga.html

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