As winter arrives, does this mean that pests around the home are not an issue? Actually, no. Mice, rats and other household pests may be active all winter long, especially here in the Los Angeles area where temperatures seldom dip below the high 40’s. If there are food sources and warmth available, even pets that would typically be less active during these months remain and wreak havoc on your home. We’ve put together ten winter pest prevention tips that will help you with the challenge of keeping your home pest-free during the winter months.
- Be Storage Smart – In winter, especially around the holidays, there are often more snacks and treats around the house than usual. Make sure you store these in hard plastic or glass containers. If there is less to eat, pests may move on elsewhere or go into a low energy state and remain out of sight.
- Keep Things Clean – Bugs, mice, and rats are attracted to food sources, even unexpected ones. Keeping your house clean, such as by vacuuming regularly and wiping the counters free of spills, will keep pests from coming out of the attic, up from the basement or out of your walls into living areas.
- Cover your Trash – Both inside and outside it is vital to keep your trash covered. A trash can with a pedal or with an easy open button is a convenient choice for the kitchen. Outdoors, make sure to choose a heavy duty trash can with a lid.
- Get the Family Involved – Even if you are doing everything you can to keep pests out of your home, what is the rest of the family doing? Even one teenager with a messy room could attract rodents, insects and other creepy crawly pests. Make sure everybody in the family is on board with your winter pest prevention plan.
- Fill the Gaps – When you are rat proofing, walk around your house and search the perimeter looking for holes and gaps. Check behind furniture, in corners and cabinets for potential entryways. If you find a hole or gap, make sure to use a protective sealant to fill it. In addition to rat proofing your home, this will lower your energy bill by keeping your home more energy efficient.
- Take Care of Wood and Leaf Piles – Winter may mean that you keep firewood on your property. If so, make sure that you store it at least 20 feet from your home and regularly sweep around it to assure that you don’t have pests building homes in your wood supply. If you rake your leaves or have piles of nonburning wood around your yard, take care of bagging and getting it off the property as soon as possible.
- Look for Leaks – Water is essential to life for pests. When you have an accumulation of moisture, it makes your home more appealing to pests plus could cause structural damage.
- Clean the Gutters – In the fall and winter, leaves, moisture, and dirt can build up in your gutters. Clear these before it gets too cold to assure that you do not attract winter pest to your roof or other areas where they can gain entry.
- Check your Drains – Sink and floor drains can accumulate debris which will attract pests and create a breeding site. Inspect and maintain all of your drains regularly, so they don’t provide an accessible food source to pests.
- Work with an Expert – The single most important thing you can do to keep your home free of pests is to work with a professional. Do not let your pest control efforts lapse in winter.
If you follow the above tips and stay proactive, you should find that your pest problem is minimized this winter and all year round. If you have any questions or you would like to set up a consultation with an expert, reach out to us at American Rat Control. We offer mouse, gopher, and rat control services. When you work with us, you will be assured of getting the best service an affordable price—with our guarantee behind it.