How to Keep Winter Pests Out

5 Easy Tips to Keep Winter Pests Out

January 14, 2014

The holiday season is coming to an end, and if you are like many, you will be opening your home to loved ones as you celebrate the last few days of the season - but not everyone is welcome.


Unfortunately, winter is a time when unwelcome house guests, such as mice and cockroaches, move out of their natural habitat and escape to the warmth of basements, garages and other parts of your home.


Once inside, winter pests pose a number of health and safety risks to your family and, not to mention, expensive damage to your property. This season, keep your home safe and comfortable by following these five tips for keeping winter pests out:

1. Seal It

Do you know a mouse can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime and a rat through a hole the size of a quarter? Winter pests, both big and small, can sneak into homes through gaps, cracks and holes. Take a walk around your house and examine spots where utilities and pipes enter the home, sealing any and all problem areas as you go.

2. Dry It

Winter pests, especially cockroaches, are attracted to moist, warm areas during the winter months. Dry any water from leaking pipes or clogged drains as well as bathrooms and kitchens, where moisture is more common.

3. Replace It

Simple home repairs can make a big difference when it comes to keeping winter pests out.  In addition to replacing worn weatherstripping, make sure to repair soft spots in wood sills and frames, on which rats and mice like to gnaw. Lastly, double-check window and door screens to ensure they fit tightly and patch any tears on the screens right away


4. Trim It

Some winter pests, such as squirrels, spiders and raccoons, can enter your home through overgrown branches or bushes. Prune branches close to your roof to keep unwanted guests from entering your home through the attic or chimney, and trim bushes under windows to block their pathway. 

5. Store It

Once a winter pest has entered your home, there are a number of places they like to inhabit. Be sure to properly store the following items:

  • Food - In addition to vacuuming crumbs off the floor and carpet, store all foods in airtight containers to keep winter pests out. 

  • Clothing - Old clothing, shoes and sports equipment, all common places for spiders to hide, should be stored in plastic containers with lids. 

  • Other Boxes - Rodents like to hide in clutter, so keep areas clear and organized as well as store boxes off the ground.

  • Fire Wood - Since ants and mice like to nest in wood piles, store firewood at least 20 feet away from your home. 

  • Trashcans - Keep trashcans and recycling bins in sealed areas, such as a locked shed, to avoid raccoons. If your trashcan must be stored outside, use an animal-proof lid. 

Need Help? Leave it to the Home Insulation Pros!

In the hustle and bustle of life, it can be easy to overlook the little things. Knowing when to leave it to the pros at Preferred Pest Control can save you both time and money. In addition to our on-the-spot pest solutions, we offer home insulation services to keep pests (and extreme temperatures!) out all year long. 


To learn more information about how our trusted home insulation services can add to the comfort of your home this season and beyond, please call (515) 276-7277 or contact us today.


*Preferred Pest Control is a Mid-American Energy authorized installer. This means that you may qualify for a 75% rebate up to $1,000.00 from Mid-American Energy for your new home insulation.