When winter hits and the weather starts to turn, what you do with your days likely changes too. Maybe you’ve got some cold weather hobbies that you enjoy on the weekends, but odds are, you’re going to spend a lot more time inside your home, trying to stay warm. Unfortunately, like we’ve learned in the article, Does Cold Weather Really Kill Bugs During Winter?, pests have the exact same idea– and they’re not going to give you a break by going away on any ski trips. If you don’t want to encounter any uninvited visitors this chilly season, you’ll need to pest-proof your home. As experienced pest pros at Greenix, we have the tips needed to help you prepare your home for colder months and beyond. Active Pests During Winter Months Some pests, like wasps, mosquitoes, and many types of beetles, go dormant during the winter, meaning you’re much less likely to encounter them sneaking into your house. But lots of other pests are more likely to seek out your cozy confines as the temperatures drop. Nasty bugs like cockroaches, ants, and brown recluse spiders may seek shelter indoors. On the warm-blooded side, mice, rats, squirrels, and sometimes even bigger creatures like raccoons have been known to trespass this time of year. The tempting smell of delicious feasts and baked goods can lure these critters inside, turning a joyful holiday tradition into an occasion for screaming and grabbing a broom. How To Get Started Pest Proofing Your Home Your outdoor area is your first line of defense against wintertime pests. If you can keep rodents, insects, and other creepy crawlers farther away from your house, they’ll be less likely to get inside. That means trimming any shrubbery where creatures might try to hide, keeping any bird feeders and firewood (another good hiding spot for mice and rats) a good distance away from your home, and keeping your trash bins closed tight. You should also trim away tree branches that could give pests an easy route onto your roof, keep your gutters clean and clear, and make sure your downspouts are directing any rain or melted snow at least a yard away from your house (because bugs are drawn to moisture like, well, a moth to a flame). Identify Entry Points Before It’s Too Late There are lots of spots where pests can squeeze their way into your house–many much smaller than you’d expect. Start by using steel wool cloth to plug up any cracks in your foundation, gaps where wires or pipes pass through walls, or any holes in your siding or elsewhere on the exterior of your home larger than a quarter inch. If you have any holes of any size on your roof, block pest access by using steel flashing to cover the hole. Another possible entrance for pests is also a popular entrance among humans: the door. Obviously, you’ll want to keep your exterior doors, including your garage door, closed as much as possible. But you should also check the weather stripping around your doors and replace any stripping that’s in rough shape. (That goes for windows, too.) If your doors leave any sort of gap at the bottom, add a brush strip or a sweep, giving little critters one less way inside. Areas to Pest Proof Indoors Just like you did on the outside of your house, look for any holes, gaps, or cracks in your interior walls. Grab some more steel cloth or anything else tough enough to stop rodents from chewing through and plug those openings. Be sure to fix any leaky pipes or clogged drains that could create inviting moisture, especially in your kitchen and bathrooms, and make sure your attic, basement, crawl spaces, and any other dark creepy spaces in your house are dry and well-ventilated, too. Keeping a clean and tidy house is another great way to keep pests at bay. Decluttering doesn’t just give you more space to breathe, but it also gives pests fewer places to hide. Get rid of any piles of stuff you don’t need or want anymore, and if there are items you want to keep, store them in closed plastic bins and put those bins up on a shelf, away from the critter’s domain down on the ground. And of course, make sure you clean your kitchen regularly, wiping up spills and crumbs as soon as possible so pests can’t get any big ideas. If you’ve got pets, don’t leave their food bowls on the ground when they’re done with their meals– wash them and store them where pests can’t get to them. Taking out the trash is no fun, especially when it’s cold out, but stay on top of that chore to keep your kitchen from becoming a stinky oasis for weary pests. Keeping Pests Out of Your Home This Winter Doing your own pest-proofing can help a lot, but if you’re worried about missing a spot, it’s best to call in professional backup. Greenix’s team of experts is equipped to keep your house pest-free. Using our trusted five-step process, we’ll perform a comprehensive treatment, customized to your unique home. Give us a call, talk to one of our friendly experts, and we’ll be at your home in 48 hours. Soon, you’ll be able to snuggle up under a big warm blanket without having to worry if something creepy crawly is under there, too!