Here’s an ugly statistic: The National Pest Management Association estimates that 21 million homes across the U.S. will be invaded by rodents this winter. Just rodents! We also have termites, cockroaches, bed bugs, crazy ants, and stinkbugs to worry about. It’s an all-out assault, one that happens this time every year as pests seek warm shelter and an easy meal – and your home is just the place for both.
For those reasons, it is important to take preventive measures now to keep pests out of your home this winter.
Eco Pest Control’s 12-Step Plan for Winterizing Your Home
- Seal cracks and holes on the exterior of your home. Remember, mice and rats can squeeze through a crack the width of a pencil.
- Check the areas where utilities and pipes enter the home. A mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime.
- Inspect wires, insulation, and walls for gnaw marks, which may be signs of a rodent infestation.
- Store boxes off the floor to prevent rodents from residing in undisturbed areas. Mice and rats like to hide in clutter, so make sure there is none around.
- Keep food in air-tight containers. Rodents, cockroaches, and ants are looking for an easy meal. Remove their food source, and you’ve won half the battle.
- Keep branches and shrubbery trimmed away from the home, which makes it more difficult for both rodents and termites to enter.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home and five feet off the ground. Mice and rats can make their nests in wood piles and easily gain access to your home if the pile is nearby. It also provides a barrier against termites.
- Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
- Eliminate all moisture areas, including leaky pipes and clogged drains. Pay extra attention to your kitchen and bathrooms, as these are areas particularly vulnerable to cockroach infestations.
- Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens in windows.
- Screen vents to chimneys.
- Keep attics, basements, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
Why You Should Lead It to the Professionals
Richmond winters give us enough to worry about without having to also worry about a pest infestation, particularly from mice or rats. And while many homeowners first implement the DIY method, it’s not always the best idea. First, many pests – especially cockroaches – can quickly grow resistant to store-bought products. Second, most DIY products are designed to treat general problems – not problems related to a specific species of pest. Targeting pest with products not designed specifically for that pest can not only have a negative impact, but also may even make your problem worse. Third, if your DIY methods fail, your infestation is likely to worsen – and quickly.
While following our 12-point plan above will help reduce the likelihood of your home experiencing pest problems this winter, if you do suspect you have a pest infestation, contact us immediately. We stand ready to tackle this winter with you.