Even though winters in Texas are not as chilly as those in other parts of the world, they still can get quite cold, and a variety of pests and rodents may try and seek shelter inside your home so they can stay warm and ride out the worst of the winter weather.
We know how frustrating winter pest control can be. That’s why we’ve got you covered with an easy-to-follow checklist that will set you up for success during the coldest months of the year.
Read on to learn everything you need to do to get prepped for winter.
Trim the Hedges
Termites are indeed most active during the spring and summer when the weather is warm. However, you could still run into a termite infestation during the winter months. Luckily, with a bit of preparation, you can create a termite control plan and, at the same time, keep your home safe from a variety of other pests and rodents.
One of the first steps to include in your plan should be to trim back the hedges around your property.
It’s not uncommon for pests and rodents to use plant life as shelter when the weather gets cold and rain or snow starts to fall. If there are at least 5 feet of space between the edges of the house and the nearest plant (including shrubs and hedges), though, it’s easier to prevent them from sneaking into your home.
Trim the branches of your hedges back in the late fall. That way, they won’t grow until the weather warms up in the spring.
Clean Up the Lawn
In addition to trimming the hedges at the end of the fall season, this is also a good time to clean up your lawn.
Set aside some time to rake up dead leaves, twigs, and fallen branches to keep the grass as clear as possible. This makes the lawn (and the house attached to the lawn) much less inviting to pests that might try to burrow into piles on your lawn and stay warm when the weather cools down.
Keep Firewood Away from the House
One of the most surprising (but important) termite facts to remember is that they often find their way into people’s homes through the woodpile. Spiders and ants can also use wood as a conduit to crawl into your home and protect themselves from the elements.
If wood is stacked next to the house, it’s easy for these pests to transition from the piled logs to the house itself. To prevent this from happening to you, make sure you keep your woodpile a good distance away from your home.
A distance of at least 20 feet is ideal. Your woodpile should be elevated a couple of feet off the ground, too, to further discourage pests from crawling into it.
Protect Fans and Vents
The fans and vents around your home present easy access points for a variety of pests to enter. To prevent this from happening, invest in screen protectors that you can install over your dryer vents. Look for pest-proof exhaust fans for your attic, too.
Take some time to tour your property and identify every vent and fan that may serve as an entry point for insects or rodents. Then, head to your local hardware store to purchase screen protectors to keep your home safe and locked down.
Dehumidify Your Home
One of the best steps you can take when it comes to winter rodent prevention is making sure your food is stored properly. Rodents love to sneak into pantries and chow down on half-open cardboard boxes of cereal or crackers. They even like to chew on the boxes themselves.
To make your pantry and cupboards less appealing to potential pests, consider moving your food into more tightly sealed plastic or glass containers. Not only will this protect your food from pests, but it can also keep your food fresher, longer. It’s a win-win!
Clear Gutters and Drain Pipes
Clogged rain gutters and drain pipes also are full of moisture, which can be appealing to a variety of insects, pests, and rodents.
To discourage them from seeking out these areas, make sure your gutters and drain pipes are cleaned out and aren’t leaking. This will also prevent roof leaks and flooding inside your home, both of which can contribute to moisture buildup and create an enticing environment for rodents and pests.
Weatherstripping is used to seal openings throughout your home, including the doors and windows. When these openings are well-sealed, it’s harder for insects and pests to sneak in and wreak havoc in your house.
Right before winter is the perfect time to check the weatherstripping throughout the home and replace it if necessary.
Do a quick tour of the house and take note of any areas where the weatherstripping looks worn out (or where it may not exist at all). Then, head to the hardware store and buy some new rolls to seal up these areas.
Clean and Declutter the Attic
Attics, especially cluttered attics, often act as a safe haven for rodents and pests. If you want to keep these creepy critters out of your attic (and out of the house altogether), make sure this area is clean and clutter-free.
If there are tons of boxes or bags of clutter lying around in the attic, you’re creating the perfect place for pests to burrow down and ride out the winter (while also, in a lot of cases, snacking on your stuff). Do a big declutter before winter arrives and start the new season feeling lighter and refreshed.
Dehumidify Your Home
The more humid your home is, the more enticing it is for pests and rodents.
If you have leaking pipes or water pooling anywhere in the house, be sure to address these issues right away. Not only does this create humidity that can attract pests, but it also increases your chances of dealing with mold growth.
Consider investing in a dehumidifier, too. This will help you to get rid of excess moisture in the air.
Call a Pest Control Professional
Finally, consider contacting a pest control professional if you need more help winterizing your house.
A professional can tour the property, take note of potential problem areas, and come up with a plan to address existing pest issues and prevent future ones from arising.
From a termite control maintenance plan to a rodent control plan, they can create a custom strategy that works perfectly for you, your family, and your home.
Get Prepped for Winter Today
Whether you’re worried about termite prevention or keeping rodents out of your basement, a well-planned (and carefully followed) winter pest control checklist can make a big difference. Follow these steps and you’ll have a much easier time keeping your home pest-free.
Do you need assistance with any of these steps? Would you like some extra guidance on things like preventative termite control solutions or rodent removal?
If so, don’t hesitate to contact us at Third Coast Home and Commercial Services to book an inspection or learn more about our pest control process.