As the weather gets colder in Arkansas, pests start looking for places to hide from the chill. They’ll sneak into your home through any opening they can find, looking for food and a warm place to spend the winter. But you can keep them out with a few simple steps.
Let’s explore eight ways to pest-proof your home before bugs and pests take advantage of your rent-free space.
To pest-proof your home for winter, you first need to know what types of pests you’re likely to encounter.
One of the most common winter pests is the mouse. Mice are looking for a warm place to nest and will often enter homes through small cracks and holes. They might also take up residence in your attic or in outdoor sheds, workshops, or firewood piles.
Another common winter pest is the cockroach. Cockroaches are attracted to homes that have food and water sources, making kitchens and bathrooms their favorite places to hang out.
Spiders, moths, fleas, bed bugs, squirrels, and bats are also on the list for Arkansas homeowners. They enter the home the same ways as mice and cockroaches and are on the hunt for food, water, and warmth. Smaller bugs and moths are likely to attract spiders, so no pest is too small to worry about.
Once you know the threats you face, you can better prepare your defenses against them.
Pests can enter the home through even the tiniest cracks and openings. While you’re likely to notice a gaping hole in your front door or a wall, it’s easy to overlook other places. Some areas that may need your attention include:
- Large holes in window screens
- Gas meters
- Cracks or openings in the foundation
- Dryer vents
- Weather stripping on doors and windows
Seal up any cracks or holes in your home’s exterior, including around doors and windows. This will help prevent pests from getting inside. Replace weather stripping if it’s starting to wear. Not only will good sealing keep the bugs outside, but it will also keep your warm air inside.
Pests are attracted to clutter because it provides them with hiding places and makes it difficult for you to spot them. By decluttering, you can make your home less inviting to pests and make it easier to spot them if they do manage to get in.
Don’t give pests a place to hide. Get rid of anything they could use for shelter, like old boxes or newspapers. Start by taking a good look around your home and identifying areas that are cluttered. Once you know where the problem areas are, start sorting through things and getting rid of anything you don’t need.
Deep cleaning your home is the best way to keep pests at bay. Vacuum and mop all floors, paying special attention to cracks and crevices where pests like to build their nests. Also, wash all linens and curtains in hot water to kill any eggs or larvae that may be lurking there.
Once you’ve given your home a once-over, keep it clean by cleaning up messes as they happen. Keep your kitchen clean by washing dishes right after you use them. Sweep up crumbs from the floor on a daily basis. Store food in airtight containers so pests can’t get to it. A little cleaning every day can go a long way.
Trimming helps to remove places where pests can hide. It also makes it harder for pests to reach entry points into your home (e.g., a squirrel climbing a tree to get into your attic).
If you have overgrown shrubs or trees, now is the time to trim them back. This will help to keep your yard looking neat and tidy, while also making it less inviting for pests.
Stacks of firewood can provide shelter from the cold. If you plan on using wood for heat this winter, it’s important to store it properly to avoid attracting pests.
Choose a location that’s at least 20 feet from your house and is well-ventilated and dry. Store the wood off the ground on a platform or in a raised structure to make it harder for pests to access. Cover the woodpile with a tarp to keep out moisture and pests. Also, check the woodpile regularly for signs of infestation, such as chewing damage or sawdust.
One surprising way pests enter your home is by hitchhiking on Christmas trees. If the Christmas tree farm where you purchased your tree has a shaker, make sure you use it before you load up. This can shake free a lot of loose needles and pests so they don’t travel home with you.
Before bringing your tree inside, give it a thorough inspection. Check for signs of infestation, such as webbing or eggs. If you see any pests, remove them or choose a different tree.
Once you have your tree inside, make sure to keep it away from areas where pests are likely to congregate, such as near cluttered areas or food sources.
When it comes to preparing your home for winter, you may not think of your fireplace as a key spot for pests. But if you don’t take the time to professionally clean your fireplace, you could be inviting all sorts of critters into your home.
Cleaning your fireplace is more than just sweeping up the ashes. You need to remove any soot or debris that has built up on the inside of the chimney. This build-up can attract all sorts of pests, from rats and mice to insects.
When you see a pest problem, nip it in the bud. Taking quick action will prevent the problem from getting worse.
We’re here to help you get rid of pests and prevent them from returning this winter. Contact us today for a consultation!