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Protecting Your Home from Winter Pests

The hot weather is long gone and winter is on its way. You might think that when summer ends, so do pests, but think again. Your house is a warm, inviting place for pests like rodents and insects. It’s likely that you already take steps to prepare your home and landscape for cold weather, but as you winterize, take extra steps to pest-proof your home.

Eliminate the Habitat

Inspect your exterior to locate and remove potential pest and insect habitats. Insects typically hide in areas that offer moisture, food and shelter. The following steps can minimize best and insect invasions:

  • Clean out gutters and downspouts, as accumulated debris provides a habitat for insects.
  • Check downspouts to ensure that water is directed away from the house.
  • Get rid of any debris rest against or near the house, including rock or compost piles, old boards or bricks.
  • Store firewood outdoors and away from the house.
  • Pull mulch away from the house.
  • Store trash cans away from the house. Trash offers a food source to insects and other vermin. Always keep trash cans tightly closed.
  • Move plantings so they don’t direction touch the foundation. Prune tree limbs that overhang gutters or roof lines and trim shrubs that rub against a wall, porch or deck.
  • Remove autumn leaves that collection against any structures.
  • Replace traditional bulbs with yellow or sodium vapor lights.

Seal All Openings

If you see any openings on the exterior of your house, take steps to seal them immediately. This will not only keep insects and pests out, but it will keep heat in. Here are the steps you should take to seal openings:

  • Replace screens with storm windows. If you do have screens, make sure they fit tightly and don’t have holes or tears.
  • Check seals around doors and crawl space openings. Replace worn weather stripping.
  • Inspect basement windows and replace concrete if it’s chipped or broken.
  • Examine the foundation and seal any cracks with caulk or concrete. Stuff steel wool into holes.
  • Look at eaves and boards carefully. Damp wood is an invitation to insects, so replace any rotting wood.
  • Ensure attic vent seals are tight.
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