Pest-Proofing Your New Jersey Home For Winter
The keys to winter pest-proofing
We know it seems a bit early to even think about winter but Tuesday’s morning temperatures were brisk and a great reminder that whether we like it or not, winter is coming and along with it higher heating bills, frigid temps, and snow/ice storms. It’s also the time of year when bad weather drives mice and rats indoors in search of warm shelter and food for their bellies. Unfortunately, your home may offer the perfect place for rodents, one where they can escape the cold and raid your kitchen. And it’s not just the rodents you have to worry about. Insects will begin making their way inside once they realize the cold weather is sticking around. In order to keep mice, rats, and other pests out this winter, we’ve put together a few tips that New Jersey homeowners can follow to help prevent pest infestations this winter.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to be Bob Villa in order to implement these insect and rodent prevention measures.
Seal mice and rats out of your home
Small holes and cracks on the exterior of your home may make it possible for rodents, stink bugs, spiders and other bugs to sneak inside. Stop the invasion by using a combination of silicone-based caulking and steel wool to close up potential entry points along the foundation and other exterior surfaces.
Limit screen time
No, we don’t mean that limiting the use of smartphones and other electronics will stop pests (however there are definite personal gains to be had when you reduce your time on devices but that’s a whole other topic; one we’re not experts on). Rather repairing screens that cover doors and windows will make your fortress… well more of a fortress that keeps rodents and insects out.
Don’t forget vents, chimneys, and other openings that are supposed to be there
Some openings that lead from inside to out are necessary. Without vents, your laundry wouldn’t vent properly. Without a chimney, your home would be filled with smoke or worse! Rather than sealing those vents off or closing chimneys or sealing up other openings, we recommend installing materials that allow them to perform their function but that prevent pests from entering via those avenues. You can cover vents and other holes with mesh or other materials that rodent teeth cannot penetrate. We also suggest installing chimney caps.
Get rid of the moisture issue
Moisture is essential in order for pests to survive. Unfortunately, basements, crawl spaces and even attics that are damp or prone to moisture build up invite insects and rodents. Fixing leaky pipes, running dehumidifiers, and making sure areas with high humidity and moisture are well ventilated and dry is a must in rodent and insect proofing.
Don’t forget to clean your gutters
Over time, gutters accumulate leaves and other debris. While that may not seem like a big deal, it is. Clogged gutters make the perfect harborages for a variety of pests. Make your gutters less attractive by cleaning them this fall (keep an eye on falling leaves) and making sure that rainwater can easily run through the channel and that downspouts are pointing away from the foundation.
Raze the bridges
The bridges we’re speaking about are the tree branches that stretch across the gap between the trunk of the tree and house to land on the rooftop. By trimming limbs so that they are ideally 7-10 feet from the roofline will deter pests from making branches their highway to your home. Likewise, we recommend keep shrubs from touching the exterior of the home and installing a perimeter of crushed rock around the entire house.
Store firewood away from your home
>While we realize on cold wintry days it’s convenient to keep your firewood close by, we must urge you to resist the temptation. In fact, we don’t recommend storing firewood on, in, or close to your home because it could be infested with destructive carpenter ants and other pests. Ideally firewood should be stored at least 20 feet from the structure and up on a raised platform.
Keep a tidy home
Cleaning and disinfecting counter tops, sinks, and appliances is a great start to keeping common areas clean and therefore less attractive to mice, roaches, and other pests. We also recommend washing cabinets, vacuuming floors and mopping where applicable, and emptying trash often. Letting dishes pile up in the sink or leaving crumbs on the floor or counters will only lead to a situation where your family isn’t the only one living in your home.
Trust the home pest control experts
If you’re a pro at fall clean-up or keep your home immaculate but you’re still seeing pest activity inside and/or out, contact Arrow Pest Control to schedule your FREE home evaluation. Serving Edison, Elizabeth, Chatham, and communities throughout our multi-county service area, our team as the tools and knowledge to keep pests out of your home during the winter months and all year long!
Home Protection Program
Service consists of the elimination of your current pest or rodent problem, complemented by both interior and exterior year-round protection of your home, which is inclusive of three seasonal visits. The program covers your entire property including attics, mailboxes, playsets, sheds, and fences.
Pests targeted with Arrow’s Home Protection Plan services include ants (excluding carpenter ants, pharaoh ants and acrobatic), bees, boxelder bugs, carpenter bees, carpet beetles, centipedes, cicada killers, clover mites, crickets, digger bees, earwigs, fabric & paper pests, fleas (inside only), ground beetles, hornets, mice, pillbugs, millipedes, rats, roaches, silverfish, sowbugs, spiders, springtails, stored product pests, and wasps.
*If you have a pool house that requires service, pricing would increase based upon the size of the structure.
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