One of the most important things any homeowner should do before winter is proper winterization. It’s generally important to keep your house and property pest-free all year round, but the winter months are even more crucial since most insect and mammal pests are desperate to find food and shelter. That’s why we’ve prepared this a quick article on how to winterize your home against all kinds of pests so that you can have safe and pleasant winter holidays.
There are two major groups of pests you need to winterize your home against rodents and insects. Both can be very annoying to deal with and both can carry a lot of dangerous diseases or do a significant amount of property damage.
Rats and mice, in particular, but also raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, and other rodents can infest our attics, crawl spaces, basements, garages, and gardens during the winter months. They can use them as nesting grounds and rapidly grow into large population sizes, dealing a ton of property damage in the meantime.
Insects, on the other hand, can come in literally thousands of different species. Spiders, termites, cockroaches, ants, wasps, silverfish, mites, bed bugs, moths, and many others can set up residence in our crawl spaces, basements, attics, as well as our living quarters. Our food supplies, clothing facilities, furniture, and even our walls and floors can easily get overrun by insect nests and colonies.
To prevent these scenarios from happening you’ll need to properly winterize your home and property. The main ways to achieve that can be summarized like this:
- Eliminate all possible food sources for pests
- Deprive all pests of their preferred living conditions
- Cut off the access of all pests from your home and property
What do these general winterize home tips mean? They mean that all food supplies and other edibles that pests might take interest in should be either removed from your home or sealed off in air-tight containers. It also means that things such as debris, gutters, trees and other possible living conditions for pests should be removed from your property. It also means that you will need to provide a proper crawl space insulation, for your house and generally seal off all access points that pests can use to enter uninvited into your home.
Here is a quick list that details most such ways to winterize your house and property:
- Clean your gutters and downspouts. Yes, we’re starting with one of the more disturbing and disgusting tasks, but it’s essential for pest prevention. Lots of bugs and pests love to hide and nest in such gutters, so getting rid of them before winter is very important
- Cut down all plants around your house. For garden lovers, this is an unpleasant task but it is important. Dead plants are a sure-fire way to attract bugs to your property which is a very bad idea, especially if the plants are near your house. Cut down everything you can and leave your yard as “naked” as possible. Besides, this will help with your plants’ root development which will yield gorgeous results in the spring, so it’s a good gardening move anyway
- Speaking of gardening, get rid of your veggie garden as well. The reasoning behind this is exactly the same as with flowers and other plants – death vegetables attract bugs and pests. Plus, this will free up your veggie garden for a quick replanting in the spring
- Use weather-resistant sealant on your home’s foundations. Every home has cracks and nooks in its walls and foundations, so it’s important to take care of them. Bugs, as well as even rodents, can fit into some very tight spaces, so the better you seal off them, the higher your chances are of having a pest-free winter
- Use weather stripping on your doors and windows. This is a great way to not only keep your home’s warmth from going out but to also keep all insect pests from getting in as well
- Take proper care for the trash containers you use. It’s very important that you store your trash away from your home. Everyday trash is one of the most attractive things to both bugs and rodents during the winter, so the further away it is from your home, the better. Also, even if it’s far enough, still make sure that it’s well sealed and inaccessible to pests
- Keep firewood away from your home as well. The reasoning behind this is the same as with trash – there are countless insect pests that love nesting in or even eating dry wood, so it’s great to keep it away from your home. Also, when you are bringing firewood indoors, make sure you do it at small increments at a time and that you check the wood before getting it indoors
- Eliminate all existing insect colonies or nests before winter. Even the smallest nest of cockroaches can grow into a full-blown infestation in a matter of weeks and you don’t what this to happen in the middle of the winter. Take time to fully examine your home and property and kill off any unwanted insect pests you find in an effective manner
- Spare your common household spiders. Yes, we tend to view spiders as pests and they often are. If, however, you only have the common and harmless household varieties (and not huge nests of black widows or brown reclusive spiders), then it makes sense to let them be. They are not fun to look at, but they are a great way to kill off any unwanted insects that wander around in your home
- Make sure that your crawl space, attic vents, basements pipes, and other such “openings” are sealed off tightly
As you can see, there’s quite a lot to do before winter, so it’s best to do it as soon as possible. Are there any winterize house tips we’ve missed? The more effectively we do it, the better since once we properly winterize our homes and property, we’ll be set for a happy and calm winter season!