The weather is getting colder in Missouri. As you start unpacking winter jackets and boots after storing them all winter, you should also start thinking about how to winterize your home to protect it from pests. Mice are often the first winter pest homeowners think of, but raccoons, spiders, and cockroaches will all also look for warm places to stay once the weather gets colder. To make sure the spot they find isn’t your home, follow the below tips.
Inspect the Exterior of Your Home
Pests of course, move into your home from outside. Due to this, the first place you should focus on when preparing your home for winter pests is outside. Search the perimeter of your house looking for any holes, gaps, or cracks that make a great entryway for pests. If you do find a hole or gap, use a sealant or caulk that will prevent them from getting inside. The foundation of a home very commonly develops cracks, and holes are often found around pipes in the areas where they enter the home.
Prepare Your Chimney
Raccoons in Missouri are a problem. Not only do they pick through garbage and carry diseases, but they are also incredibly skilled at making their way into a home. They can rip away siding from a home, and they really love to enter homes through open chimneys. Other animals, such as squirrels, mice, and rats can also enter your home through the chimney. To prevent this from happening, place a cap on the top of your chimney, or cover it with a screen.
Clean Your Gutters
While still working on the outside of your home, it’s also important to clean your gutters. The moisture in clogged gutters provides a great breeding ground for many pests, such as ants and mosquitoes, while the leaves and other debris offer a warm hiding spot for larger pests such as mice and squirrels. Cleaning the gutters will deter pests from setting up camp on your property, and help keep them out of your home.
Remove All Moisture
Just like humans, pests need moisture, too. Pools of water, even a very small one, can attract pests because it gives them the sustenance they need. To prevent moisture from coming indoors, which can attract other pests such as cockroaches, insulate your plumbing with heat tape to your pipes don’t freeze. This can also prevent significant damage to your home.
Put All Food Away
Like water, pests also need food, just as humans do. To prevent them from hanging around your home, put all food away. Make sure that any food inside the home is in a sealed container and is stored properly. Always keep counters clear of all food and sweep regularly to pick up crumbs that inevitably fall to the ground. Outside, keep all garbage and recycling items in animal-proof containers or in a garage where pests cannot get to them.
Store Firewood Away from Your Home
There is a proper way to store firewood, and it involves more than simply stacking it up outside of your door. It’s important to cover it with a tarp so that the water doesn’t collect and attract more pests to your property. Also, it must be stored at least 20 feet away from the home. Pests love to hide in these stacks because they offer some warmth and a solid structure for their nest. While you may not be able to completely prevent critters from getting into your wood pile, you can make it harder for those same pests to make their way into your home.
Many pests such as mice, stink bugs, spiders, and more, love hiding out in clutter. Things like piles of old newspapers, stacks of cardboard boxes, and junk in general make great hiding spots and many pests will also use these materials to build their nests. Removing them is a great preventative measure to control pests and to keep them out of your home. When clearing clutter, remember to clear it both inside and outside of your home.
Contact a Missouri Pest Control Service
Many people wait to call a St. Louis pest control service until they’ve seen pests in their home. However, at Amco Ranger, we not only help remove pests from your house, but can also help prevent them from entering in the first place. When you need to protect your home, call us at (636) 441-2847 to schedule your free inspection.