Mom always told us that cleanliness was next to Godliness. Mom knew what she was talking about. We weren’t allowed to keep a drink or food in our bedrooms growing up. Those dishes had to be cleaned and put away before going to sleep. Even those late-night snacks better be put away without a crumb left behind. Mom knew that ants and other pests are drawn to water and food left out and she wasn’t about to have a bug problem in her home. 
 
As the temperatures drop pests will look for food and water anywhere they can find it. Their normal sources of food and water become harder to find the colder it gets. This leaves them with no other option but to enter your home or another structure in search of food. Outlined below are 5 main steps to pest-proofing your home for the winter.

Entry Points

The first step in keeping pests out of your home this winter should be sealing up entry points for pests. This could be a gap around a window, door, utility lines coming into the home. 
 
  • Start by caulking around windows and doors.
  • Add or repair door sweeps on exterior doors.
  • Replace or repair screens on windows and storm doors.
  • Plug weep holes in the foundation with metal mesh to prevent rodent entry.
  • Make sure crawlspace doors shut and seal.
  • Check that you have a screen behind the vents in the attic.  

Clean That Kitchen

There’s a reason kitchens are the #1 area we get calls about when dealing with cockroaches, ants, or mice. It’s a room we spend a great deal of our time in prepping, cooking, and eating. But no one ever wants to do the cleanup. You know I’m right. Parents want the kids to do it. Kids want their siblings to do it. I would even blackmail my brothers to do my kitchen cleanup duties if I had some dirt on them. Face it, cleaning the kitchen is no fun at all. These things need to be done every day without fail.
 
  • Remove garbage on a regular basis. Daily is best. 
  • Do not leave dirty dishes overnight. Wipe the sink down after use. 
  • Wipe down all countertops, appliances, and cooking surfaces. 
  • Keep opened food in airtight containers. 
  • Don’t forget to clean those hard to get areas. This includes under and behind the refrigerator, inside cabinets, and behind the stove. 

Remove Indoor Clutter

Houses can become cluttered very quickly. In a perfect world, everything would have a specific place and it would always wind up where it should be. During the holidays this can be especially difficult. Boxes, presents, wrapping paper, and decorations should all have a specific place. Unused boxes and wrapping paper should be kept in bins that seal. This stuff is too inviting for mice and other pests to make a home in. 
 
Even everyday items like clothes and toys should be kept in the right place. Don’t throw them in piles on the floor in the corner of a bedroom or the back of a closet. These make great hiding areas for mice and other pests. 

Fix Leaky Faucets and Pipes

Standing water attracts pests and promotes mold and mildew. Make sure faucets aren’t dripping or leaking above in the sink or below in the cabinet. This is a common cause of issues with springtails, earwigs, and ants. They are drawn to areas of moisture and high humidity. Check your crawlspace for leaky pipes or have someone inspect it for you. Undetected leaks in a crawlspace could cause issues beyond the normal crickets, cockroaches, or mice. High moisture wood is like a nice steak to termites. Now you’ve moved past a simple general pest treatment. Getting rid of termites is much more serious. You could save yourself a ton of money looking out for these issues on a regular basis. 

Maintain a Clean Lawn/Yard

 Just like clutter inside your home, yard clutter is just as bad. Keep the grass cut short, and remove piles of yard debris. Keep mulch raked at least 18 inches from the foundation. Don’t overwater flower beds and prevent standing water near the home. Earwigs, springtails, mosquitoes, and other moisture-loving insects will thrive in these areas. Remember mosquitoes can lay eggs in as little as a thimble full of water. 

  • Keep compost & firewood piles at least 20 ft from home. 
  • Remove leaf piles and other yard debris. 
  • Reduce low spots where standing water may occur. 
  • Remove items from the yard that may catch rainwater and retain it. 
  • Check firewood before bringing it in. 
  • Shake out Christmas trees and wreathes before bringing them inside.

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Trust Your Local Experts

It’s very hard to eliminate all potential entry points in your home. It’s not easy keeping the house spotless around the clock either. If you need a little help keeping your home pest-free this winter or year-round for that matter, give us a call. Our technicians have the training required to deal with South Carolina’s diverse pests. We offer year-round pest control services to keep your family, pets, and home safe from unwanted pests
 

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