During the cold winter months, outdoor critters are on the hunt for warmth and shelter and they tend to find it in homes like yours. Mice, squirrels and rats, also known as the big three, are the most common invaders and once inside, they can cause many problems aside from just an infestation. They chew on electrical wires which can lead to a fire, they carry bacteria, and they can contaminate our food and living spaces. Thankfully, there are many ways to prevent these unwanted critters and make your home pest-free.
1) Ensure that your garbage is secure and out of reach
Your outdoor garbage cans can attract critters so make sure that they are closed tightly and near impossible to get into for animals. Whether you have bungee cords, special bins, or any sort of lid securing device, make sure that even if knocked over, your garbage bins will stay closed. It is also a good idea to rinse out your garbage cans once in a while so that they do not smell, as this smell in and of itself can attract critters and make it more likely for them to nest in your home.
2) Close off any possible entryways
This is an important step to ensure that outdoor pests stay outdoors, but is something nearly impossible to fully complete as these critters can crawl and/or chew through just about any space. What you can do is seal up any holes or cracks that are visible on the exterior of your home with caulk or steel wool. These cracks tend to be around where both the pipes and utilities go into the interior of your home as well as near your foundation and your chimney.
3) Do not leave food around for critters
This goes for both inside and outside of your home. Indoors, be sure that your food is sealed in airtight containers and out of reach of potential unwanted house guests. It is also a good idea to take your garbage out regularly as this will reduce the odours of rotting food that is so tempting to critters. Outdoors, be sure that if animals do get into your garbage, to clean it up as soon as possible so that others don’t come flocking to the scene.
4) Be sure to store firewood 20+ feet away from your home
When you keep your firewood close to the house, it invites unwanted critters into your home. Pests such as mice, termites, beatles and more live within the wood and if placed close enough to your home, they will have an easier time making their way inside.
5) Keep the shrubbery trimmed back away from your home
This last tip is mostly directed at squirrels as they are known to be the most common attic intruders. Try and keep your trees trimmed so that they have a more difficult time using these branches to jump onto your home. Squirrels are known to be able to jump about 6 feet, so look around the exterior of your home and if you see any branches around the area that are in squirrel jumping length, be sure to trim them.
If you suspect that you have pests in your house, look into hiring a professional for the job. Click here to find the best pest removal company in your area.