8 DIY Tips for Keeping Winter Pests Out
When the weather outside is frightful, you’re not the only one who finds the warmth of your home delightful. A whole variety of pests -- spiders, beetles, moths, silverfish and rodents being among the most common -- would rather curl up next to the hearth with you this season than brave the elements of nature.
That’s why it’s so common to see such pests during the coldest months of the year -- they’re trying to stay warm, just like you.
Unfortunately there isn’t much you can do to stop pests from being drawn to heat, but the good news is you can use that knowledge to your advantage. There are a ton of proactive preventative measures you can take to keep your home pest-free during the colder months. Of course, different intruders call for different defenses, so let’s take a look at some common interior winter pests, along with possible options to prevent them.
Which Interior Pests Invade in the Winter?
The following culprits are creatures you might find in your home, year-round; however, they certainly can make an appearance when the temperature drops and they are in search of cozy surroundings.
Spiders are quite common and the most likely place to find them is in the corners where your ceiling and walls meet. They also like any other hiding spot that affords peace and quiet, such as under sinks, beneath furniture and tucked away in any cluttered areas. When the weather begins to turn colder at night, but still stays above freezing, their bodies begin to produce an antifreeze compound that helps them survive the winter without freezing.
Eliminating clutter, cleaning and dusting in all areas of your home will help prevent spiders from setting up shop. This is especially true for less-traveled areas like your attic, basement, garage, or shed. Also, check items brought into your home -- especially those from the outdoors, like firewood, for example -- for egg sacs.
There are multiple pantry pests which can invade your home in the winter: Indian meal moths, grain weevils, cigarette beetles and flour beetles, to name a few. They may be found in and among pretty much anything and everything in your pantry, including staples like flour, pastas, beans, nuts, dried fruit, tea, and cured meats. These critters are more likely to access opened items, but can also chew their way into pantry items poorly protected by thin containers.
You can prevent pantry pests by only buying foods in smaller quantities that you will consume in a short amount of time, inspecting your food items thoroughly, and storing non-refrigerated food in tightly sealed glass, metal, or thick plastic containers. Placing pantry items in the refrigerator -- even if the product doesn’t require refrigeration -- will also help prevent a possible infestation.
Silverfish are destructive insects that eat anything containing starch -- paper, glue and wet wood, especially. They love moist, humid places, like underneath sinks or downstairs in basements and cellars.
The first step toward preventing silverfish from moving in is to thoroughly inspect the areas where they would take up residence, such as your basement, attic or garage. Eliminate any sources of water like leaky pipes, along with food sources like books and magazines. Keep firewood dry by stacking and covering it far from your home.
Rats and mice are often found hidden in walls, under flooring and in low-traffic spaces like the basement or attic. Rodents aren’t just looking for warmth, either -- they’re after your food, too.
To prevent rodents from coming in, restrict access to food sources similar to the way you would prevent pantry pests. Don’t forget to take the same precautions with pet foods. Seal up any entry points larger than a quarter-inch with caulk and/or wire mesh (even their sharp teeth are no match for metal). Remove any clutter from your home to eliminate cover for rodents to safely travel to and from your home… and its food sources.
Call in the Pros
If pests do manage to penetrate your defenses, it's time to call the professionals. Our Home Quarterly Program is an ongoing pest defense that always keeps your home prepared for the upcoming season. The program includes exterior and interior inspections, monitoring, and detailed reporting. We also seal off any exterior gaps to prevent rodent entry and will remove hard-to-reach spider webs up to 15 feet high.
Whether you want to combat one pest or dozens, request a free quote to have it taken care of by a professional.