When the temperatures dip and the rain starts turning to snow, you may think that you’re safe from pests from the season. Unfortunately, the experts at PestLock know that’s far from true. Some pests do hibernate at this time of year, like the stinging insects we help Portland residents handle, but plenty more are still as active as ever, including rodents, roaches, and ants. Fortunately, you can take a few preventive pest control steps of your own to seal up your home and avoid pest problems this winter. Read on for our do-it-yourself winter pest control checklist, and contact PestLock today for help from the professionals! We are a Top Rated Local® pest control company for the Portland metro area, and we can help you handle everything from an untreated crawl space to rodent removal. Call today to schedule your inspection!

Clear Away Plants and Groundcover

Untrimmed plants and piles of debris can draw pests as they search for shelter in these cold winter months. Not only can a messy yard encourage pests to settle on your property, but it can also give them access to the interior of your home. One of the first steps you should take to avoid problems this season is to trim bushes, hedges, and tree branches away from your home, and discard dead leaves and fallen branches to prevent debris from piling up and giving pests refuge.

This includes your woodpile, if you enjoy putting your fireplace to good use once the temperatures drop. Pests can build nests there and use it for shelter as they burrow into your home. To prevent this, try to find a better storage option about 15 to 20 feet away from your home. You should also elevate it off of the ground if you can to further discourage pests like mice and rats from making themselves at home.

Seal Up Gaps and Cracks

Not only can gaps and cracks make your home drafty and uncomfortable in the winter, but they also give pests an opportunity to sneak inside. Pick a mild day and give your home a top-to-bottom inspection, from your crawlspace to your attic. Look for loose mortar or gaps between screens or around utility lines. Mice are one of the top winter pests Portland residents have to deal with, and they can squeeze through a hole just a quarter of an inch wide. At half an inch, rats can find their way through as well, so make sure you seal up any holes or gaps you can find.

Install Vent Screens

You can’t seal off your chimney or the ventilation shafts of your home, but there is a simple addition you can make to prevent them from being easy entry points for pests. You can install mesh screens over these openings to prevent any unwanted visitors from finding their way into your home from the roof. However, you may want to leave this step to the professionals, as working on any rooftop – especially when it may be slippery or icy – can be very dangerous.

Declutter

Dark, crowded spaces are a pest’s best friend. Give them no place to hide by cleaning and decluttering your home. From your garage to your guest room, donate or discard any lingering items you don’t need and organize your space to avoid creating shadows and shelter for possible pests. Vacuuming and dusting can also help you get into the corners and ensure that you’ve left them no place to hide.

Repair Leaks

Pooling water or excess moisture will attract pests as they look for a water source in the cold weather. That means any leaking pipes or plumbing can act as a beacon. Find and address leaks now to avoid winter pest control problems — check the pipes in your basement and the area under plumbing fixtures like sinks. Leaks, dripping, or excess condensation are all warning signs you’ll want to address.

Replace Weather Stripping

Another important line of defense against winter pests is weather stripping. Not only can it seal any possible entry points, but it can also improve the energy efficiency and comfort of your home. A two-in-one win! Check the stripping on each door and window and address any sections that are cracked, missing, or simply ragged. You should also inspect the rubber stripping at the bottom of your garage door, and replace it if it’s not sealing the way it should.

With a few simple steps, you can make your home more comfortable for winter and a whole lot more unwelcoming to potential pests. If you simply don’t have time to tackle this checklist yourself, call PestLock! We offer comprehensive pest inspections, and, as part of our preventive pest control services, we can seal possible entry points, clean your crawl space, seal your ductwork, and more. Invest in prevention and protection today, and trust the Portland area’s Top Rated Local® pest control company. Call today to schedule your free inspection!