How to Avoid a Winter Pest Invasion

Tips Defend Your Home Against an Overlooked Threat

Veteran homeowners know too well that along with postcard-worthy scenes, winter brings a host of worrisome hazards. Some are familiar and inescapable.

Frozen pipes, downed trees etc. are the problems that most homeowners dread. The truly wise, however, dread something else too. Like a beacon in the night, a warm home fully stocked with food is an irresistible draw for countless species of insects and rodents. True, mice and rats, cockroaches and spiders are relentless intruders, often capable of breaching even hairline cracks in the home exterior. But with foresight and care, you can go a long way toward effectively barring unwanted houseguests. It's well worth the effort to do so. Household pests are capable of causing extensive, expensive damage.

Once they gain entry to your home, insects and rodents gnaw through wood, wires etc. gradually but inevitably leaving no small amount of destruction in their wake. Even their nesting—in dark, warm, often moist crevices—typically results in rotten wood and mold growth, either or both of which undermine the integrity and longevity of your home.

Though you may not be dealing with an infestation right now, recognize that the risk of a pest invasion never really goes away—especially in winter.

Best practices for pest prevention:

  • Trim back trees to bar rodents from easy access to the underside of your roof overhang.
  • Declutter any utility rooms so as to eliminate any potential nesting grounds.
  • Examine the fascia board along the roofline, replacing any areas of rotted wood.
  • Repair loose mortar and replace worn weather stripping around all windows and doors.
  • Store food in sealed containers and keep crumbs off the floor.
  • Seal any and all cracks or gaps on the home exterior with a silicone-based caulk.
  • Store firewood at least 1 meter from the home, not only off the ground but also covered.

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