The goal for most people during the winter is to stay warm, dry, and inside as much as possible. It is also the goal of most pests.
Mice, rats, and squirrels are driven to find shelter from the cold and food to sustain them through the winter. Cold weather pest control is vital to keep your home, family, and food protected.
Rodents are not only a nuisance, they carry diseases and will ruin food supplies. Here is what you need to know for Utah pest control in the winter.
Seal Cracks Leading Inside
The first step in winter pest control is to make it very hard for them to get inside your home. You need to seal as many crevices and cracks as you can find.
Easy access points are around doors, especially garage doors. Also, watch the entry points for utility or cable lines. The areas under porches and stairs can have unnoticed cracks.
It only takes an opening the size of a dime for some rodents to squeeze through. You can use steel wool in small gaps. Silicone caulk also works well for small holes. For larger openings, try cement or foam sealers.
Rodents are not the only unwanted visitor in your home during cold weather. Learn how to get rid of common house spiders.
Trim Bushes and Trees Around Home
Another easy entry point is through cracks on the roofline and around soffit or attic vents. In addition to sealing off these areas, you should make it difficult for those areas to be reached.
Trim back large bushes and small tree branches close to your house. Rats, mice, and squirrels can climb through the bushes and up the trees and jump over to the roof. Remove the path by cutting back and away from the side of the home and roof.
Another good pest control tip is to keep your gutters clean. Standing water and other items inside can attract unwanted invaders.
You should also keep firewood and other objects away from the foundation and side of the home. Those areas will be appealing for warmth at first, but as they smell food from the inside, they will do their best to find a way in.
Utah Pest Control: Clean Out Your Garden
Leftover fruit and vegetables in your garden will also attract pests into your yard. You might think that will help to keep them outside, but the problem comes when everything is gone.
Once the food runs out there, they will go to the next closest source, which is your home. By removing all unused items from the garden you are eliminating a source of food that will draw them in.
Store Food in Airtight Containers
Rodents have a keen sense of smell. They can even small food from outside the home. The best way to keeping the scent of your food from reaching them is to store all food in airtight containers.
This goes for staple supplies like flour, coffee, and sugar. Rodents are especially fond of sugar. Once these items are brought inside the home, the best pest control is to remove them from their paper packaging and seal them in containers.
If you are short on containers, you can also store these items in the refrigerator. It won’t hurt the items and will help keep them from attracting pests.
Keep Counters Clean and Food Away
You may not have ever thought about this, but leaving dirty dishes in the sink and on the counter is an open invitation for rodents and other pests to come looking for food.
They are drawn by the smell and will have a feast on the crumbs and leftovers laying around. A helpful pest control tip in Utah is to keep the kitchen area as clean as possible.
If you can’t wash the dishes right away, rinse away all food particles. Put any leftover food away in the refrigerator. If you have to throw it away, put it in an outside trash can.
Also, be sure to wipe down all counter surfaces. Tiny crumbs are a buffet for pests. Be aware that crumbs and food particles find their way under appliances and include those areas in your cleaning.
If someone in your home takes food to other parts of the home, make sure you encourage them to bring back all plates, cups, and utensils to the kitchen when they are finished and get rid of any uneaten food.
Signs of Rodent Infestation
Even with all the right preventive steps, you can still end up with a pest problem. It is helpful to know the signs to help keep them away.
One of the biggest signs will be their droppings, especially around food packages. Other common places are under sinks and in drawers. You may also find make-shift nests made from fabric, shredded paper, or even leaves.
Often you can hear them scampering through the house or attic. They are more active at night. Your pets will hear and smell them and you may also notice that.
Another trait of mice is to chew on almost anything they find. They are quite fond of gnawing on exposed cords and cables. If you notice this around the home, it is a good bet you have an ongoing pest problem.
Once you have an infestation issue, you need to turn to professionals. There are definitely steps you can take to keep your home safe, but when it comes time to get rid of them, trust a trained Utah pest control specialist.
A Pest-Free Home
Everyone wants to be warm and well-fed during the cold winter months. This goes for pests too. However, you want to do your best to have a pest-free home.
These Utah pest control tips will help guard your home and family against unwelcomed visitors and send them looking on down the road.
Here at Elevate Pest Control, we are the experts for both home and residential services. Contact us and let us know how we can help you today!