As you prepare your house for freezing temps, winter pest control probably isn’t top of mind. After all, don’t critters hibernate in the winter? Not all of them — and those creepy crawlies want to take refuge in your warm, safe home.
These pest prevention tips will keep rodents, insects and spiders outside where they belong.
Mice and Rats
Where to Look: Are you convinced you see more rodents in the winter? You’re likely correct! As temperatures fall, mice and rats look for shelter and warmth. You’ll find them in your attic, wall spaces, cabinets, sheds and garages. Look for droppings, gnawed holes and a musky odor.
What to Do: First, identify where the mice are nesting and how they’re getting in. Then, strategically set up snap, electric or live catch traps. Store food in airtight containers and recycle any unnecessary paper and cardboard to pest-proof your house from hungry rodents. If the infestation continues, schedule regular visits from a qualified pest control company.
Where to Look: Squirrels don’t hibernate during the winter, but they’d love to create a cozy den in your home. You might find these bright-eyed and bushy-tailed critters primarily in your attic and walls, where they chew up insulation, gnaw wires and leave droppings. You may also notice some outdoor red flags: missing shingles, torn garbage bags, chewed outdoor furniture and garden damage.
What to Do: First, you’ll need to get the squirrels out. Try turning on bright lights, making loud noises or using an ultrasonic squirrel repellant. Seal off all entry points using caulk or mesh. Keep your trees and shrubs trimmed so pests can’t get onto your roof.
Where to Look: American and German cockroaches seek refuge in warm homes during winter, where they’ll eat and reproduce. Cockroaches prefer to hide in cracks and crevices, like behind the fridge or in your cabinets. They scurry out to feed at night.
What to Do: Close any entry points, install new weather stripping and repair plumbing leaks. Keep your kitchen clean by regularly throwing away garbage and vacuuming any crumbs. Cockroaches are notoriously persistent, but professional pest control can help you get control of the issue.
Where to Look: Brown recluse spiders take up residence in undisturbed spots, like your attic, cardboard boxes, closets and firewood piles. While most spiders hunker down during the winter, brown recluse spiders can enter your home through cracks in your home’s foundation, walls or air conditioning unit.
What to Do: Seal any gaps in your walls and roof. Vacuum any webs and lay out sticky traps to catch the spiders. Always shake out shoes and clothing before you put them on if you know brown recluse spiders are in your home as their bite requires immediate medical attention.
Your Home, Your Needs
If pests damage your roof, pipes or insulation, you’ll need to make repairs. Don’t forget to keep your Farm Bureau agent in the loop to ensure your policy is always up to date. If you don’t have an agent, you can reach out to your nearest Farm Bureau agent.