It is that time of year again. We’re all settling in for the winter and pests and rodents are no exception. They’re looking for a warm and cozy place to spend the winter, safe from the elements. The last thing you want is for mice, rats, spiders and raccoons to find that place in your home, basement or garage.
Once pests find their way in they don’t want to leave. They can often reproduce quickly and usually where there is one, there are more. That’s why exclusion is so important when it comes to pest control. Taking steps to make sure they never get in to begin with is key for keeping these unwanted guests from making your home or garage their 5-star, winter retreat.
Wildlife, such as raccoons, squirrels and bats, are known for being quite an annoyance to people throughout the winter months. They can tear up and contaminate your insulation and the noises they make in the attic or inside the walls can drive you mad. There are some steps you can take to prevent a problem with wildlife this winter. First is to keep your trash in covered containers and as far from your home as possible. Do not store trash in your garage, if you can avoid it. Next, make sure your chimney is capped off. Check your property for weak areas and holes and make sure you seal them off.
Another common pest problem in the winter is spiders. Spiders are usually found in dark corners of closets, attics, crawlspaces, garages and basements. Most spiders in the New York area are a nuisance more than anything else, however, the brown recluse and the black widow spider's bites can cause a severe, even deadly allergic reaction in some. Spiders generally only bite if they feel threatened, the only problem is, in the places they hide, you may not know they are there until they do bite. Spiders can be extremely difficult to prevent entirely. Because they are so small, they can squeeze through some really tight spaces. Making sure the entry points to your home are sealed off and checking for webs outside your home can really help. You should also try to minimize other insects in your yard. Insects are a source of food for spiders and that can draw them in. Making sure your outside lights aren’t left on when you don’t need them will help the cause. Also, it is good to eliminate standing water and storing your trash and recyclables in covered containers can be a huge help.
Mice and rats can pose some pretty serious risks to you, your family and your home. They can contaminate surfaces, carry diseases and parasites and they leave behind urine and droppings that can cause all sorts of illnesses from asthma, to salmonella, to Hantavirus. They are also known for chewing through electrical wires, posing a fire hazard. Mice and rats breed quickly and often, making them especially hard to get rid of. If you see signs of mice or rats in your home, the odds of there only being one are slim to none. To protect your home from these pests this winter here are some things you can try.
Make sure food is stored in airtight containers and not left out on the counter.
Keep your kitchen floor swept and as crumb free as possible.
Keep your trash can covered and be sure to take the trash out on a regular basis.
Fill any holes around your home including around your pipes.
Another important step in pest prevention is contacting a professional. They can assess your property and your home and zero in on the possible problem areas and entry points and help you take care of them. Investing in pest prevention can save you a lot of time, money and headache in the long run should these critters get inside your home. Remember, if you suspect you have a pest problem, you should contact a professional immediately! They have the knowledge, experience and proper equipment to eliminate your pest problem safely and effectively.