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November 14, 2016

Each insect and animal has a different way to survive the winter season. Many adult insects do die off when the first frost arrives, leaving eggs behind to grow and start next spring’s population of their species. A lot of people are led to believe that all insects die in the winter though while this is not always the case. Some insects and animals will migrate to warmer climates, and others will burrow in leaf litter or hide under loose bark for protection from the cold. Unfortunately, many insects will seek shelter from the cold in your irresistible warm home.

“Pest prevention is a year-round process, and in anticipation of cooler weather, it’s time for a change in the ways you protect your home from unwanted intruders,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “Besides being a nuisance, pests can also pose health and property threats. Homeowners must take proactive measures to prevent pests from coming indoors.” There are many steps and measures that homeowners can take in order to prevent the pests making it inside their home and set up nests for the winter. Use the following tips to winterize your home in order to keep the pests out!

Eliminate common pest habitats Typically, insects seek areas that offer moisture, food, and shelter. Just like other living beings, they need places to rest, reproduce or hide from predators. There are many areas on the exterior of your house that will provide this insect habitat. Creating this habitat on the outside will ultimately attract them to the inside. To prevent this enticing habitat for pests, clean out your gutters and downspouts that collect debris. You can also pull mulch back so it is not resting against the house, shift plants so they are not directly touching the foundation, and prune tree limbs so they do not overhang gutters or rooflines.

Seal up all entry points If you notice any openings on the exterior of your home, use caulk and steel wool to seal any potential cracks or holes that could be entryways for pests. Check the windows, door frames, and along the foundation. Also, pay close attention to where the utilities and pipes enter the structure as mice can fit through holes as small as the circumference of a dime. Sealing up all those entry points could potentially save you money on your monthly bills by sealing the tiny air leaks that allow heat to escape your home during the winter.

Install a door sweep Another tool that keeps pests from entering your home and will save you energy this winter is a door sweep blocks the gap between the bottom of your door and the ground. You can buy one at any hardware store, and for a super-easy fix, buy the kind that simply sticks onto the door with an adhesive strip — no drilling needed!

Repair damaged screens If you leave screens in year-round, make sure they fit tightly and don’t have holes, tears or other openings. Consider investing the money and time into replacing the screens with storm windows throughout the winter for extra protection from both pests and the weather. Also, don’t forget to check and install screens in some forgotten places, such as the attic vents and chimney.

Eliminate all moisture sites Not only will eliminating moisture sites prevent pests but it will also help in preventing mold growth. Some of the key places to check for moisture include leaking pipes and clogged drains on both the interior and exterior of the home.

Store firewood properly As we have mentioned before, store your firewood at least 20 feet away from the house, and also keep it elevated from being directly on the ground.

Replace exterior lights Check the lights on your front and back patios, as well as all other lights near entry points into your home, such as the garage. Trade the traditional bulbs, which lure insects toward them, with yellow or sodium vapor lights.

As always, if you suspect a pest infestation inside your home, [link href="/about/contact-us" target="_blank" label="contact Black Diamond"] for a free inspection and evaluation of your property! Hire our pest professionals as the best way to prevent and protect your home against a pest infestation this winter.