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Winter pest prevention checklist: The best ways to keep your home safe

With the shorter days, there are fewer opportunities for pests to slip inside undetected, however, this also means that they’re more likely to take advantage of any gaps in your defences. That’s why it’s important to put together a Winter Pest Prevention Checklist to help keep your home safe throughout these chilly months.

If neglected or overlooked, small holes and cavities can provide entry points for rats and mice. Many pests are still active during the colder months, so inspecting for signs of their activity is a good idea if you want to keep them out of your home permanently. Keeping on top of things now will ensure that your home remains pest-free all year round...

Check for Signs of Activity

This will help you determine the areas that need the most attention. During winter, many pests are eagerly searching for food, warmth, and shelter to survive the colder months. Before you do anything else, take a walk around your property and look for signs of pest activity. This will help you determine the areas that need the most attention. Ridding your home of these pests for good starts with knowing what signs of pest activity may look like. 

  • Rat Droppings: Rat droppings are about 2-3 mm long with pointed ends. They’re often dark in colour, with a slightly shiny appearance. You may also find droppings in your cupboards, or even behind electrical appliances. 
  • Mice Feces: Mice fecal pellets are about the same size as rat droppings, though they’re usually rounded in shape with a pitted texture. 
  • Insect Signs: Look for insects like cockroaches and spiders in places where they like to hide, like behind your fridge and in your basement. 
  • Bird Signs: Keep an eye out for discarded feathers and droppings on your roof and in your gutters.

Seal Up Holes, Cracks, and Gaps

Holes, cracks, and gaps are perfect entry points for pests. Fortunately, they’re also very easy to fix. Many pests such as rats and mice are small enough to fit through a hole the size of a quarter. Other pests such as termites and ants are even smaller. This means you need to check for and seal up any holes, cracks, and gaps that are the width of a pencil or smaller.

Change Your Doors

Doors are likely to be the first line of defence against pests. Unfortunately, they’re sometimes the first point of entry too. If you suspect that pests are getting inside via your doors, you’ll want to change them as soon as possible to give yourself an extra layer of protection against pests. The best doors for keeping pests out are those with a tight-fitting threshold, no gaps, and strong locks. Having too many gaps in the frame of your door or too much clearance around the thresholds can let pests sneak in when you open your door.

Lay Off the Food Scraps

Food scraps are often the cause of pest infestations. They can be particularly attractive to rodents, ants, cockroaches, and even some species of birds. As tasty as they may be to pests, food scraps are simply not necessary in your home. Instead of leaving them out, consider storing them in a sealed container that pests can’t get into. This will help keep pests out of your home and allow you to focus on more important things. Food scraps can also produce a lot of bacteria that can lead to health hazards and hygiene issues in your home.

Dispose Responsibly

Make sure that all trash disposed of is sealed in bags. That way, you won’t have any pests attracted to spilled-out or accessible garbage. Always make sure you take your bins out on garbage collection day, and dispose of rubbish regularly.

Trim Back Vegetation

You’ll want to trim back any vegetation that’s growing close enough to your home to provide a bridge for pests. This includes anything from shrubs to trees that may be providing easy access to your home.

Still worried about pests in your home?

If you have or suspect a pest problem or would like to know more about protecting your home from pests this winter, contact us today.

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