Tips for a Pest-Free Home this Winter

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Pests are often more prevalent in the winter because of the cold weather. All the mice, rats, and bugs that were outside in the summer try to find a way indoors. They are attracted to the warmth of our homes, and they want to stay inside.

If you are currently facing a rodent infestation, call a rat exterminator in Whitby or another near you. Rodents, especially rats, are destructive pests that spread disease. Don’t wait for the problem to go away. Hire a professional to help you solve the problem.

In many cases, pests come crawling in in the fall, then become a noticeable problem in the winter. Pests are largely preventable, however. Here’s how you can avoid them this winter.

1. Deep clean the house

Spring isn’t the only time for deep cleaning. Dust and vacuum the house from top to bottom, reaching under couches, beds, and appliances. Don’t forget to vacuum between couch cushions. Then, empty out the kitchen cupboards and wipe them clean. Clean the microwave, the oven, and the fridge. Deep cleaning the house like this will help to eliminate the smell of food, which attracts pests into the home.

While cleaning, you should get organized and reduce clutter. Rodents and insects love places where they can hide. Move cords off the floor and get rid of the things you don’t need. The neater, the better. You should then make an effort to maintain the cleanliness of the house by cleaning up every week.

2. Put food out of reach

Make food as inaccessible as possible, both in and out of the house. Put the bird feeder away and pick up any fruit that have fallen to the ground. Clean your garbage bins and store them in a shed or in the garage. If you can, secure them with bungee cords so that raccoons can’t get inside. You should also avoid leaving any pet food out on the porch because it will attract skunks, rodents, and other wildlife.

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Indoors, store your spices and pantry foods in sealed containers. Things like sugar, flour, pasta, oats, and beans should go in jars or thick plastic containers. This will make the home smell less like food, and if you get any pests, they won’t be able to get into your food.

3. Cover wall vents

Rats and mice can climb the wall, then chew their way through wall vents. Cover these with a thick steel mesh to keep them out. Use a quarter-inch mesh that is 16-gauge or more. Galvanized steel works best as it is waterproof and resistant to rodent chewing. Weep holes can be protected with little metal coverings from the hardware store.

4. Plug holes in the wall

If you can fit a pen, you can fit a mouse. Keep them out by plugging every hole you find in the wall. Seal cracks in the foundation with epoxy and use caulking to fix vinyl siding. You can also use caulking to close the gaps you find along the soffits. Stuff larger holes with steel wool. Make sure you check under the deck and look for gaps surrounding cables and faucets.

Indoors, you can do the same thing. Stuff holes under the sink with expanding foam and seal every crack you find in the kitchen cabinets. This will red rid of hiding spots.

5. Seal windows and doors

Seal cracks in the window frames and replace all your broken window screens. Be sure to check your window wells very carefully. You should also add weatherstripping to the bottoms of your doors. Mice often come crawling into the homes via the front door.

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6. Fix leaks and dehumidify

Pests love humidity because it tells them that there is water nearby. Fix all your leaky faucets and avoid having standing water for a long time. If you have a particularly humid basement, you may want to have a dehumidifier installed. Monitor the humidity in your home and aim for somewhere between 40 and 60%.

7. Watch out for bed bugs

Bed bugs exist year-round. If you’re planning on travelling somewhere this winter, check your belongings very carefully when you return home. Bed bugs cling to pyjamas and luggage. Once in the house, they move into mattresses and sofas. If ever you notice a strange bite on your skin or find a bed bug in your home, contact an exterminator right away.

8. Hire a professional to pest-proof

Did you know that pest control companies offer pest-proofing services? A technician can come and inspect your home, then pest-proof your home for you. They can block every vulnerability they find, using professional-grade materials. A lot of companies offer warranties with this service, too, so it’s worth looking into.