With the start of fall, leaves change color, temperatures get colder, and we spend our days inside our warm homes, wrapped in blankets and drinking hot cider.

Unfortunately, cold weather brings everyone indoors—even pests.  

Rats, mice, cockroaches, and spiders are all pests have lifespans longer than a year, so in the colder months, they seek a warm shelter. Without the proper preparation and prevention, these unwanted guests can cause harm to your family and your home.

Rodents can pass on diseases and damage parts of your home, as they often chew on electrical wiring and drywall. Cockroaches can wind up in your food and leave droppings around your house. They also can trigger asthma. Lastly, many spiders are poisonous.

Here are ten tips to keep your house pest free during fall and winter:

  1. Add screens to vents and chimneys.
  2. Make sure your basement, attic, and crawl spaces are dry and well ventilated. Moisture can attract pests.
  3. Use caulk and steel wool to seal small cracks on the outside of your house. Did you know some rodents can fit through a hole as small as a dime?
  4. Keep clutter out. Store food in airtight containers, dispose garbage regularly, and keep kitchen counters clean. Pests are prone to scrounge for food in areas with crumbs and garbage.
  5. Replace weather-stripping and repair any loose mortar around windows and foundation. This can help keep both pests and cold air out of the house!
  6. Keep firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and make sure shrubbery is well-trimmed. These are areas where pests may hide, so having them further away may reduce the likelihood unwanted guests come inside.
  7. Repair damaged screens and install door sweeps. Windows and cracks under doors are easy access for pests to enter your home.
  8. Inspect the items you bring into your home. Seasonal decorations, packages, and grocery bags are all sneaky ways critters can enter your home. Shake out anything that was stored or left outside and inspect for pests before carrying it inside.
  9. Try not to leave your pets’ food out for long periods of time. Pests are just as attracted to cat and dog food as they are to people food.
  10. Install or repair gutters. Having gutters can draw water, and moisture, away from the house, which can prevent leaks or water buildup that could attract pests.

Follow these tips to protect your home this year as the weather gets colder. However, if you do have any pest problems this winter, contact May Exterminating for help.