Virginia’s cooler weather alerts bugs and rodents to seek out warm shelter for the winter months. You might already be experiencing this with ladybugs, box elder bugs, or stink bugs trying to get indoors, so it is important to identify how they are gaining entrance to your home. The first place to look is around windows and doors, near utility access points, and even in cracks or gaps in siding. Fix any problems you identify.
Winterizing your home not only prevents pests from setting up shop for the winter, but also helps save energy – and money – on your utility bills. In short, it just makes good sense. Here, then, are our tips to winterizing your home against pests.
Adding insulation to your home creates an extra buffer that makes it more difficult for pests to gain entry, while also keeping your home warmer and lowering your heating bills. If you decide this is a great winter option for you, then look for insulation that contains borate, which is an ingredient that’s deadly to many insects, but safe for humans.
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, then you already know the benefits it can have on reducing your energy costs during winter. However, firewood stacks are a favorite place for pests to hide, as it provides shelter from the winter cold. So, make sure your firewood is at least a foot from the exterior of your home and always inspect the logs before bringing them inside to ensure you’re not bringing any hitchhikers along. In addition, only bring into your home wood that you plan to burn that day, as the warmth of your home will cause beetles that live in the wood to emerge.
Like us, pests need water to survive, and pests also love leaky faucets. A small under-the-sink leak can be a magnet for cockroaches and other bugs – especially during winter. Inspect all plumbing and seal any leaks you find.
Cracks and Gaps
Cracks and gaps in your home now only allow warm air to escape, but they also allow pests to come inside. Insects and other pests can get into your home from nearly any type of opening, from a tear in your screen to a small gap in a vent. Conduct a thorough exterior inspection and repair all openings, cracks, and gaps, including vents, screens, and door sweeps.
Insulating your pipes will help prevent them from bursting or freezing as the temperature drops. That’s not all, though. The extra layer of insulation can keep pests out of your home. As it gets colder, pests will find any cracks or openings through which they can enter your home – including pipes.