Just like humans, pests want to move indoors as temperatures drop. As the winter chill moves in, your home can look like a warm and cozy reprieve to a wide variety of insect, rodent, bird, and wildlife pests. In fact, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) estimates that rodents alone will invade an estimated 21 million homes this winter!
Mice and rats can contaminate food with pathogens such as Salmonella, carry bacteria that cause the deadly respiratory ailment hantavirus, and bring fleas, ticks and lice indoors. They can also cause serious structural damage by chewing through wood and electrical wiring.
Other winter invaders pose health threats, as well. Like rodents, insect pests can contaminate food sources, and the presence of others, such as cockroaches, can trigger asthma. Spiders can also bite when they feel threatened, causing serious reactions in some people.
“Pests including cockroaches, ants, spiders and especially rodents are common home invaders in the winter,” says Dr. Nancy Troyano, Director of Technical Education and Training at Rentokil North America. “An infestation by these pests can cause serious health and property issues if not properly dealt with in a timely manner. However, homeowners can help prevent infestation troubles by taking a proactive approach in eliminating entryways into the home.”
Ehrlich suggests that homeowners take the following actions for keeping pests out:
- Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home.
- Inspect wires, insulation and walls for gnaw marks, which may indicate a rodent infestation.
- Store boxes off of the floor to prevent rodents from residing in undisturbed areas.
- Keep food in air-tight containers.
- Keep branches and shrubbery trimmed away from the home.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home and five feet off the ground.
No time to perform winter pest-proofing on your own? To prevent pests from infesting your home this winter, Ehrlich offers our pestfree365 customers a special Winter Check service to help identify structural and maintenance issues that will help you conserve energy and keep pests from entering your home. During your winter service, we will inspect your perimeter, seal cracks and crevices and even install a chimney cap if you need it!
As part of our Winter Check program, your expert Ehrlich technician will inspect these six key areas, along with six others:
To learn more about pestfree365 and our Winter Check program, click here.