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Pest Control Tips: Winter Edition

Or wondered how those electrical wires went from pristine to properly chewed-through?

If the answer is as exasperated “yes,” then rest assured – you’re not alone! It’s happened to most homeowners at one point or another – besides uncooperative plumbing, cracks in foundation, and renovations gone wrong, unwelcome critters – whether they’re as small as an ant or as big as a raccoon – on the shortlist of most annoying homeowner’s frustrations.

Although summer is prime time for pests, a homeowner shouldn’t let down her guard when the winter wind blows and the snow starts to fall.

Not sure where to start with your winter pest proofing quest? Here are 6 tips to help prevent unwelcome critters from making a home in your home this winter:

Winterize

One of the first things you should do to keep unwanted pests away from your home in winter is something you’ve undoubtedly heard time and time again – winterize!

If you haven’t winterized your home, there’s no time like the present to make sure your beloved abode is properly prepared for winter in the Great White North.

Install weather-stripping around windows and doors, and be sure to keep plumbing in mind. It’s also important to keep your fireplace properly maintained, so it’s available for use as an alternative heating method in case of a power outage.

To keep critters from making a nest in your gutters, be sure to clean out any moisture, fallen autumn leaves and general debris from your gutters and downspouts.

Declutter

To keep critters big and small from cozying up in your personal possessions, be sure to keep all of your closets and other storage areas free of excessive clutter.

Start outside and work your way in, organizing your shed and garage before making your way inside and clearing the clutter that’s accumulated throughout the summer and fall. Organize closets and other areas of storage that are prone to disorder. From stink bugs to spiders and even rambunctious rodents, pests can make a home in your clutter if you’re not careful.

Need help de-cluttering? Use our Winter Storage Solutions guide to begin your winter clean up.

Seal Cracks and Holes

The easiest way for a cold critter to break into your heated home is through any gaps or holes in your property. That’s why it’s important to seal any cracks and holes on your home’s exterior to keep winter houseguests outside.

Begin by thoroughly inspecting the perimeter of your property, sealing any gaps and holes you may find. Pay special attention around utilities and pipes as these provide easy entryways for mice and other rodents.

Next, go inside and inspect each room – look in corners, behind furniture, and in cabinets for any holes or gaps that may turn into a pest’s entryway. If you find any, be sure to fill them using a good quality caulking or protective sealant.

Keep Firewood & Leaf Piles Well Away

While there’s nothing quite as comforting as an old fashioned wood burning fire on a cold winter’s day, the wood and dried leaves used as fuel for your comforting fire may actually be the perfect harborage for those unwelcome houseguests.

If you have a wood-burning fireplace, always store leaves and wood at least twenty feet away from your property. These provide the perfect harborger for a shelter-seeking critter, and if they’re stored closer to your home, it’s that much easier for a critter to find its way inside your home.

Address Moisture Issues

Do you have a clogged drain that’s been giving you grief for months? Or a leaky pipe that has produced puddle after puddle on your kitchen floor? It may not be the first thing to come to mind when you think or pest control, but moisture means water, and water is essential for a pests’ survival. Besides leaving you open to pest problems, excessive moisture can cause damage to your property, so it’s best to address moisture issues as soon as they arise.

Store Food & Garbage Properly

Although this will not necessarily keep critters from making their way inside your home, storing food and disposing of garbage properly will certainly discourage pests from making a permanent home in your home. The best thing you can do is use airtight containers to keep mice and other rodents away from food supplies.

Just as important as keeping your property pest-free, is protecting it with the proper insurance coverage. Desjardins offers a full range of home insurance options to suit your unique needs – get a quote today to protect your home and everyone in it.

Pest Control Tips: Winter Edition

Have you ever awoken to the faint sound of tiny animal feet scurrying across your attic?