Keeping Your Home Pest-Free this Winter

Small mouse in a home pantryIt’s the most wonderful time of the year! There’s a chill in the air, maybe even snow on the ground, the fireplace is going, holiday festivities are underway, seasonal decorations are up, and so many of us get to spend quality time with loved ones. But this time of year is also welcomed by some unwanted house guests: rodents and insects. From mice to termites to squirrels, all types of creatures can make their way into your house—leaving you a trail of destruction to take care of. Let’s talk about how you can keep your home pest-free this winter.

Winter-Specific Pest Problems

Pests can cause problems in a home any time of year. But winter in particular is a very common time for them to do so. Why? 

  1. Baby, it’s cold outside! Those that don’t hibernate are searching for food and warm shelter in the winter months, both of which they can easily find in your home. 
  2. Oh, Christmas tree. When you brought live greenery inside, like wreaths and trees, did you inspect it for the spiders, moths, and other pests that like to nest in greens? 
  3. Deck the halls. Time to break out the holiday décor that’s been sitting in your attic, basement, or shed since this time last year. Was it properly sealed? 
  4. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. That fireplace sure is cozy! But you should leave the firewood outside unless you inspect it for pests before bringing it indoors. 

Potential Dangers of House Pests  

Aside from the fact that pests indoors are simply a nuisance and are invading your personal space, there are serious threats they pose to you and your family that go beyond headaches. 

Causing Structural Damage 

Lots of cold weather pests like rats and raccoons can cause serious structural damage to walls and electrical wiring (even sparking an electrical fire!) as they gnaw through a house looking for food or warmth.  

Spreading Disease 

Mice and cockroaches can carry diseases like Hantavirus and Salmonella which will make family members sick if contracted. 

Creating a Big Mess 

Even if the problem doesn’t escalate to structural damage or disease, rodents are still capable of creating a big mess for you to clean up. It’s not fun to find animal droppings in your belongings or torn-through items. 

If you ever suspect an infestation, you should call a professional exterminator immediately.  

Actions to Maintain a Pest-Free Home 

Here are some steps you can take to be proactive in preventing a pest problem this winter: 

  • Take out the trash as often as you can. 
  • Keep food sealed in air-tight dependable containers. 
  • Clean up food and beverage messes, including crumbs and residue, immediately. 
  • Check for vulnerable spots around your house. Even the smallest of openings are easy access points for pests. 
  • Seal gaps, cracks, and holes around the house. 
  • Check for broken vents on the home’s exterior. Repair any loose siding or shingles. 
  • If you have a chimney, consider a chimney cap to stop creatures from entering from above. 
  • Clean out gutters regularly to avoid pooling water—the perfect breeding ground for some insects.
  • Keep areas clear and store boxes off the floor (mice especially like to hide in clutter). 

While this blog has focused around keeping your home pest-free, know that these creatures set up shop elsewhere too, like your vehicle and boat.   

Don’t let pests ruin your merry and bright season at home. Follow the preventative measures we’ve provided above and, if these critters still manage to make their way into your living space, take immediate action. And if you do wind up with damage from these creatures, your homeowners insurance should come to the rescue. Contact us today if you’re in search of coverage or are unclear on what your policy entails. We’re happy to help!