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 keep your home pest-free.
1) Ensure 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.
If you’ve had issues in the past with critters getting into your garbage cans, you can always have a storage shed built. Not only will your garbage and recycling be stored away in an attractive container, but critters will also have a difficult time accessing them. If you need help securing your garbage, connect with a shed specialist to see what they can build for you to keep critters out.
2) Close Off Any Possible Entryways
This is an important step to ensure that outdoor pests stay outdoors. To prevent pests from getting in through tiny entryways, have a handyman 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. Hire a pro to take care of this task for you so you ensure you don’t miss a spot.
3) Do Not Leave Food Out 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. If you have excess garbage that is piling up, enlist the help of a junk or garbage removal company to remove it for you.
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. If you plan on having backyard parties, be sure to clean up any food left behind the night of. Don’t leave clearing plates to the next day as you will have a midnight feast waiting for critters.
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, beetles and more live within the wood and if placed close enough to your home, they will have an easier time making their way inside. Be sure to store your firewood at least 20 feet away from your home so that you don’t accidentally bring something inside your home. If pests do end up inside, you will have to call a pest removal company to properly treat it.
5) Keep Trees and Shrubbery Trimmed Back 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 have them trimmed by a pro.
If you suspect that you have pests in your house or on your property, the best way to get rid of them is with the help of a pro. Connect with a pest removal company and say good-bye to annoying critters for good.
Cover image courtesy of Pest Nest.