Much like many of us, many insects and rodents do not care for cold weather and they will seek out shelter wherever it is warm and dry. Your home makes a convenient place to spend the winter for many pests. Not only is it shelter from the cold, but they can find food and water in your home as well. However, if you take precautions, you can keep pests away from your home during the winter.
Seal it Tight
One of the best ways to keep pests out of your house, no matter what time of year it is, is to limit the access points into your home. Since insects and mice can squeeze into very small spaces, you will have to walk the perimeter of your house and look for areas where they can crawl into your home. The space around drain pipes, openings underneath doors and small cracks in your foundation are perfect entry points for most pests.
Use silicon caulk to patch cracks and to seal around pipes to keep pests out. Also replace or repair the seals around doors, including your garage door, so they can’t find an easy way indoors. Replace or fix torn screens and remove overgrown weeds, grass and other vegetation from around your home, especially if it is touching your home.
Keep Pests at a Distance
If you have a wood burning fireplace or stove, you should keep your wood pile several feet from your home to prevent spiders, ticks and other insects from crawling over the wood into your home. Before carrying wood from the pile inside, brush it off or drop the logs onto the ground to dislodge any insect passengers that you might be on the wood. When not using wood, either don’t store it in your yard or keep it covered so insects don’t build their nests in the wood pile.
For gardeners who compost, the compost pile should be kept at least 100 feet from your house. A compost pile makes for a convenient food source for rats and other animals, especially if you live in the suburbs or in a rural area. You should also use a lidded compost bin to discourage animals from seeking food in your compost pile and in your yard.
Stink bugs, which are a fairly new species to the United States, are attracted to a wide variety of vegetation. In fact, in the U.S. and Asian countries where they originate, they are mainly a crop pest. While they may prefer crops like soybeans, they will feed off of vines, trees, shrubs and many varieties of garden plants and cause significant damage to them.
They will seek shelter in your home during cold weather, so keep your shrubs and trees trimmed, remove vines that you don’t want around your home and treat your garden plants in order to get rid of these pests. Along with the other measures, you should be able to keep these pests out of your home in the winter.