Here in Whistler we’ve had our first bit of snowfall with winter clearly in sight. As we all switch the thermostat on and cozy under heavy winter blankets remember- you are not the only one seeking warmth during winter months. Rodents and insects that until now have weathered fine outdoors are searching for warmth and protection during winter. So how can you ensure these pesky critters stay outdoors? Here is a Pest Control Checklist to prepare your home for winter.
1. Keep food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly
Even though your olfactory system may not pick up the subtle smells that food items in your kitchen produce, it doesn’t mean the highly sensitive nostrils of rodents, insects and larger pests such as racoons and skunks can’t. Make sure to store your food in plastic or glass air-tight containers to keep it fresh and protected from unwanted scavengers. Ensure your garbage is taken out of the home regularly and stored in a bear proof bin away from the home. As bears get ready for hibernation they will become increasingly hungry and you garbage will become pleasingly palatable.
2. Install screens over chimney vents and openings
Installing screens over chimney vents and openings will prevent unwanted pests from climbing down the chimney uninvited. Many homes these days do not have open vents or chimney’s however if yours does make sure to create a barrier in order to keep critters out.
3. Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home
To ensure your home is safeguarded from pests this winter it is important to seal any exterior holes or cracks. Entering through the front door is the last way invasive pests will gain access to your home, instead they will sneak in through tiny holes and cracks and you will be none the wiser. Once inside your home pests will live inside the walls, in the attic or beneath the floor boards all the while defecating, chewing wires, and being a general nuisance and safety hazard to your home.
4. Replace loose siding around windows and basement
Another opportunistic location to enter the home is through loose siding- especially around windows and the basement. Before the snow really starts to set in be sure to repair any damaged or loose siding on your home.
5. Store firewood at least 20ft from the home and 5ft from the ground
If you have a wood stove or wood burning fireplace make sure to store the firewood away from the home and off the ground. Insects, including carpenter ants, can lay nests in your wood pile where they will wait happily until transported into your home. As soon as the ants get inside they can become a threat to the structural integrity of your house. Make sure to check all firewood that enters your home for insects and carpenter ants.
6. Inspect wires and insulation for any sign of gnawing
Do an assessment of your home’s wires and insulation to insure no gnawing marks are present. If you do see signs of chewed wires and insulation, you will want to contact a pest controller immediately to thoroughly examine your home and create an action plan for eradicating the pests. Tampered wires in particular can be dangerous in your home increasing the likelihood of an electrical fire.
Although stats for Canada are not available according to the National Pest Management Association of America, American’s spend $4 billion per year trying to get rid of pests with rodents invading approximately 21 million homes per year. Prevention, like always, is the best course of action for avoiding costly eradication and damage to your home. Awesome Possum Pest Control in Whistler, BC is a humane pest control service operating throughout the Sea to Sky Corridor. Contact Awesome Possum today and arrange a preventative home inspection to ensure you and your family are safe from invasive pests this winter!