5 steps you should take to avoid a pest invasion this winter season

 

Why would pests target my property?

As temperatures start declining, and the weather gets colder many rodents, birds, and other pests will be looking for a place of refuge from the elements. Your property might be the ideal location for pests to stay for the winter. Pests would target your property because of the warm enclosure provided, the constant stream of food resources, and protection from predators. Some parts of the property are more susceptible to infestation than others, such as garages, basements, and attics. These are all locations that are secluded, often quieter, and darker than the rest of the property making them more attractive to pests.




The key pests to look out for this winter are bats, birds, rats, chipmunks, cockroaches, and spiders. You can learn about these different pests and more here.

Steps: 


1). Seal entry points

For a pest infestation to begin they need to access your property. By sealing possible entry points such as maintenance ducts, water pipes, roofs, and crawl spaces you prevent pests’ initial entry. Preventative sealing can be done with quick-drying cement, glue, or a restructuring of certain areas. Using screens to prevent bug entry is useful, though other pests may be able to take down those screens or gnaw through them. Screening windows and doors are a good measure, but regularly inspecting for damages is key to success with that method.


2). Pay special attention to the roof

Gaps in the shingles on the roof of a property provide easy access points for pests such as bats, birds, and rats to climb into your attic or vent system. This would be dangerous as those pests can often get trapped in the air duct or attic bringing them into your home. Inspecting possible entry points on the roof of the property, vents with large holes, missing or loose shillings, and spaces between the roof and wall is critical to identify risk areas. Bats want to nest in warm locations such as between the wall or attic and can commonly squeeze themselves to fit in-between the gaps between walls and roofs.  Closing holes on your property's roof is difficult and dangerous, so make sure your roof is in tip-top shape by hiring a professional to inspect it. These professionals also have the expertise of how to seal holes permanently and efficiently so you won’t have to.

3). Keeping clean inside

Pests, especially rodents, will be searching for a food source and any crumbs left on the kitchen counter will fill their need. Cleaning spaces that have crumbs or dried food such as the pantry regularly cuts off the pest from their food source forcing them elsewhere. Keeping dry food in safe containers such as a bread box, or glass jar instead of a traditional plastic bag or cardboard box better protects against rodent scavengers. Plastic and cardboard can be easily dismantled by a rodent’s sharp teeth, exposing their diseased saliva and droppings: contaminating unprotected food. Keeping all areas where food is consumed clean and making sure that there are no food products left out overnight or for extended periods of time is an essential step in keeping pests out of your house.  

 

4) Garage and attic organization

Keeping your garage/attic/basement organized and clutter-free allows you to better see possible pests and denies pests the cluttered, dark environment they prefer to live in. Keeping items aligned and vertically stacked denies rodents the dark hiding places they prefer for reproduction. For storage, plastic storage boxes are safer than cardboard boxes. Similar to cereal boxes, pests can chew through cardboard easily to access and destroy what you are storing. Rats, in particular, look for cluttered areas to occupy because they can better evade predators and exterminators. So, cleaning out that clutter is an important preventative measure.

 

5). Clean chimneys


Some pests can look for chimneys as an access point to some properties. These chimneys often lead directly to a bedroom or living room, so preventing pest entry from there is vital. Installing a simple mesh cap on the chimney to prevent entry is often the best solution. If unsuccessful at roof entry, bats and birds will attempt to enter through the chimney so preventing both is important. Along with cleaning common spaces, maintaining a clean chimney makes pest deduction easier. If any of these methods seem too taxing mentally or physically, consider calling a wildlife specialist. They’ll ensure that the job gets done.



     

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