How to Protect Your Home from Cold Weather Pests◀ Back To Blog
September 12, 2019
Fall is often cited as the most beautiful time of the year, particularly in the Capital Region; apple picking surrounded by colorful trees on a cool autumn day has a certain charm to it that you won't find anywhere else. Those are the good parts. The bad? We’re only a stone's throw away from winter, which means that all sorts of nuisance pests will be looking to use your home as a source of heat and food until the chillier months pass. That doesn’t mean you have to resign to a winter full of irritation; in fact, there are several ways that you can protect your home from the hoard of cold-weather weather pests coming toward us in the not-too-distant future. You just need to know where to look!
Which Specific Pests Do I Need to Watch Out For?
In the capital region, you need to be on the lookout for a range of both wildlife and insects:
Raccoons are quite active in the spring and summertime, but it’s during the fall when they start looking for warm shelter to beat the winter chill; raccoons like taking shelter in and around man-made structures, and your property can be the perfect winter den for them.
Skunks like to burrow for warmth, so keep an eye out for skunk holes near decks, sheds, porches, garages, and your home foundation.
During the Fall, squirrels will be looking for places to burrow for the winter hibernation, particularly in places like sheds, attics, and garages.
Much like the other animals we’ve talked about, bats hibernate come winter; this means they will be looking for dark, warm places to hide to escape the cold, like your attic, garage, or basement.
Probably the most infamous and numerous of the home invasion wildlife threats, mice and rats will start trying to populate your home, like most pests, looking for warmth and food. What makes them an especially frequent threat is their ability to enter the home through the tiniest entry points.
While cockroaches have a reputation for being able to survive essentially anything, the reality is that they cannot survive in an environment below freezing. This makes your home a great target, and any dark area that will give them access to warmth, moisture, and food can be a target, which includes inside kitchen appliances, cabinets, furniture, and even pipes.
If carpenter ants have already taken up residence in your home during spring and summer, they won’t be going anywhere for the winter, and they will continue to cause structural damage throughout the winter if they aren’t exterminated.
Spiders found indoors have often adapted to living indoors, which means that they aren’t looking to move outside--especially during winter. While spiders in the capital region are largely harmless, an infestation can be an indication of a larger pest problem; spiders settle down where they have found a food source, which in this case is other insects. Plus, no one wants a few hundred spiders as roommates.
What Are the Signs of a Pest Presence?
There are a few telltale signs that are easy to recognize if you’re searching for clues of an infestation:
- Wildlife are noisy, so you’ll be able to hear them if they’ve made your home their winter den. Sounds of scratching, rustling, or squeaking from places in your home that qualify as a good hiding place, is a good indicator critters are present.
- Both wildlife and insects will leave waste in the form of urine and droppings or moulded skins and dead bug bodies respectively.
- Critters and insects can leave physical evidence: on your property this will come in the form of burrow holes or exterior home damage where they find entry; in the home things they will leave things like gnaw in claw marks on walls and electrical wiring, or damaged wood structures if there’s a wood-eating insect present.
How Can I Pest Proof My Home?
While pest-proofing your home on your own is never a guarantee- a professional service will almost always have better experience and resources- there are certainly a few things that you do to make the chances of an infestation less likely:
- Keeping a tidy kitchen and tidy home in general is a great first step, because often wintertime pests will be drawn to the prospect of food and a good place to hide.
- Any cracks or holes, no matter how small, can ultimately act as an entry point for some sort of insect or critter, so sealing those up will certainly help; if there’s an opening that you can’t simply seal, screening it instead is better than nothing!
- Door sweeps are also a good investment for the little crevasses in doors that you can’t seal or screen.
- Try to eliminate any leaks that could create a moist environment. Most pests are attracted to moisture, and a moist attic or basement will draw them in.
I’m Still Worried Pests Will Get into My Home. Now What?
Thomas Pest Services offers a host of different services that can help prepare your home for the winter, from pest-protectant home insulation installation to repair services to better protect your home from pest presence. Deployed in tandem with our Complete Care Plan- which includes exterior home treatments to deter pests from potentially vulnerable areas- gives you the peace of mind that your pest problem this winter will be no problem at all. Plus, we have the resources, experience, and professionalism to find any compromising issues with your home and act quickly and efficiently to solve them. Experience is vital to execution, and we have 3 generations of experience to draw from.