We’re willing to bet that a mouse infestation isn’t on your holiday wish list this year, and rightfully so. While your house might be a tempting warm hideaway for pests during the cold winter months, it doesn’t have to be with the right preventative measures. This list of winter pest control prevention tips for your home will help you keep the winter blues away and rodents at bay this season.
These are the Most Common Winter Pests and How to Get Rid of Them
You know the saying, “If you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to ask for a glass of milk”? The best thing you can do to avoid harboring a family of mice in winter is making sure you’re not inviting them in via food sources. Anything edible is fair game to these opportunistic winter pests, including birdseed, trash and the ever-common kitchen floor crumbs. Keep your indoor spaces as tidy as possible (a seasonal deep cleaning list is the best prevention) to avoid accidentally welcoming these furry critters inside your home, additionally, perform regular perimeter inspections to check for holes, cracks and other easy entry points that need to be sealed off.
Similar to mice, these pests love to sneak in for a winter warm-up through open gaps, cracks and holes along the exterior, windows and foundation of your home. Make a plan before it gets too cold to seal off all entry points and let them know your house isn’t a winter hideaway. Another rodent control tip that many home and pet owners forget is making sure dog and cat food is sealed tightly, these are gourmet treats for rats during the colder months.
Since bed bugs don’t die off or hibernate during the winter months like other pests, you need to take proper measures to ensure they don’t take up residence in your home for the holidays (or anytime.) Unfortunately, a lot of what we do during the winter (staying indoors, turning up the heat, adding warmer bed sheets) are even more inviting to these pests. One plus is that they are not as active when it’s cold and are less likely to travel and seek new hosts, meaning it’s the perfect time to contact a pest control expert like Plunkett’s for a seasonal treatment.
Additionally, adding a bed bug-proof protective mattress bag and spraying items like winter bedding, coats and outdoor gear with a water and essential oil solution (tea tree, cinnamon, clove and peppermint are all fair game) is another prevention tactic.
Sadly, spiders aren’t just decor for spooky season- they crawl around all year and still give most of us a fright. Fortunately, there are a couple very simple tips to keep these creepy crawling critters out of your home this winter. First, a natural cleaning solution of white vinegar, water and citrus peels is a two-punch spider repellent that can be used safely to clean most surfaces of your home (especially the kitchen and bathroom.) Spiders are sensitive to the acid in both and will avoid it at all costs. Secondly, if you’ll be using your fireplace a lot these winter months, make sure to keep your firewood outside as it’s a perfect nesting spot for most types of spiders.
To prevent pods of cluster flies in the winter, your best bet is grabbing some caulk and sealing up all crevices around your windows, doors, utility pipes, and behind chimneys. They will squeeze through any small opening to seek out a warm space to ride out the winter weather so pest proofing your home is a must. Thankfully, this type of house fly doesn’t lay eggs or breed indoors, so they are more of a nuisance than anything; however, if you properly seal up your space in time, you won’t have to worry about them being a buzzkill.
Just like with summer fruit fly infestations, these winter pests only want you for your food sources. Fruit flies have an uncanny ability to seek out rotting fruit and plant material, and they’ll do anything to get a piece of it. Cutting off access to their food supply is your best way to prevent a winter infestation. If you’re already dreaming of warmer weather, it’s a good idea to clean your drains now while these pests are less prevalent to make sure it’s not the perfect place for them to start breeding when spring arrives.
If all else fails and these pesky critters are putting a damper on your cozy winter plans, Plunkett’s is here for you year-round and we’re just a phone call away to help with your winter pest control.