A new year is upon us and it is time to look back at 2013 and evaluate how your year went.  If you have problems with pests, you could have made a few simple changes last year to help avoid infestations.  However, with a little bit of effort, you can get rid of your problem and use these helpful tips to prevent five of the pest problems you could have avoided in 2013.

Rodent Problems

If you have mice or rats in your home, you may need to hire a professional exterminator to help you take care of the problem.   Mice will take every opportunity they can to get into your house to find food and water as well as shelter from the cold.  These rodents are excellent climbers, so when you’re sealing off your home, you will want to cover cable, vents, chimney and down spout openings too.  You can use mesh to allow water to drain properly, but keep rodents out of your down spouts.  You can use mesh over vents and your chimney as well.

Mosquito Issues

Mosquitoes are not just annoying when you’re trying to enjoy an evening outdoors, but you can contract disease like West Nile Virus from their bites as well.  The family dog is also in danger because they can get heart worms from a mosquito bite.  Eliminate unnecessary shade in your yard where they like to hide and remove any standing water from around your house.  Mosquitoes will use standing water as a place to lay their eggs, even if it is in a bird bath or a small bucket.

Ant Invasions

While carpenter ants are the species most frequently found in homes, you can get almost any type of ant in your house when they are scouting for food or water. Carpenter ants can cause damage to the wood of your home as well as make a nuisance of themselves by marching in your kitchen.  Clean up food spills immediately and keep open food in plastic containers so they cannot get into your food supply.  While they love sugary foods, these pests will eat almost anything, including pet food.  Keep your dry pet foods in plastic containers with airtight lids as well.

Spider Invasions

While spiders are often beneficial insects, you don’t really want them living in your home.  The best way to avoid them coming in is to keep plants, foliage and other vegetation from touching your house.  They can easily use trees and plants to crawl onto your house and enter through any crevice they can find.  If you can, turn off outdoor lights at night.  The spiders will be attracted to the insects flying around the lights, not the lights themselves.

Stink Bugs

These bugs like a variety of vegetation and they will feast on almost any type of shrub, tree, vine or plant.  To keep them out of your house, remove any plants or foliage in close proximity to your home’s foundation so they can’t use it as a bridge into your home.