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rat walking on mesh in shed

Cold Weather Pest-Proofing Tips for Northeastern & Mid-Atlantic Homes

As the days get colder, rodents and other wildlife typically start searching for shelter from the frosty weather they know is coming. Unfortunately, that “shelter” is often the attic or crawl space of a suburban home. Additionally, cockroaches, spiders, and other bugs will enter homes to forage as their food sources outdoors grow scarce.

As pest and wildlife control experts, we want to share some tips with you that can help keep the local critters out of your home this fall and winter. Let’s get started!

1. Trim your trees back from your home.

Rats, mice, squirrels, chipmunks, and raccoons can use nearby tree branches to access your home’s roof, chimney, and windows. Prune your trees so that none of the branches are touching your home.

2. Replace your door sweeps, if needed.

Mice can squeeze through a gap the size of a dime, which means they can often fit through the gap between a door and its frame. Make sure that the sweeps on your home’s exterior doors are in good condition. Also, don’t forget to check your garage door’s sweep and ensure that it makes contact with the ground all the way across.

3. Update the weatherstripping on your doors and windows.

Installing or updating old, worn weatherstripping has two significant benefits:

  • Weatherstripping eliminates gaps that allow rodents and bugs to enter your home.
  • It also reduces your home’s heat loss, which can help lower your energy bills!

4. Seal gaps around your home’s exterior.

Although you might not notice them, your home’s exterior may have multiple entry points for rodents and bugs, including holes made for plumbing pipes, gas lines, ventilation, and cables. You can use an expanding foam sealant to fill the gaps. You can also fill the holes with steel wool and apply caulk around the steel wool to keep it in place.

5. Check for gaps and damage around your home’s roof.

Trust us, the last thing you want to find in your attic is a raccoon latrine. To enter a home, raccoons and other wildlife will look for gaps and weak points on a roof that they can exploit. Don’t forget to check under your home’s eaves.

If you notice gaps that aren’t really “damage” but are large enough for a mouse to squeeze through, a pest control expert can help you put the right exclusion products in place to keep animals out and prevent damage to your home.

6. Store woodpiles away from your home.

Mice and rats often make their nests in woodpiles and will then use those stacks of wood to gain entry into buildings. If possible, keep your firewood at least 20 feet away from your home.

7. Declutter.

Clutter gives rodents and bugs ample places to hide, which makes cluttered spaces more inviting to them. Try to eliminate any excess boxes or items you don’t need. We also recommend replacing any cardboard boxes you’re using to store seasonal items with clear, plastic bins, as these are much more resilient against pests that may try to chew through them or nest inside them.

8. Cover your exterior vents with screens.

While you never want to block airflow out of a vent, it’s crucial to keep pests from using this common entry point. For this reason, you’ll want to use a metal mesh screen to act as a deterrent.

9. Be choosy about your bird feeders.

A bird feeder can be a kind way to help out your local feathered friends when most of their other food sources are buried under snow. However, the seeds can attract a lot of rats, squirrels, and other rodents to your property. To keep the neighborhood wildlife from seeing your yard as an all-you-can-eat buffet, it’s best to replace any traditional feeders you might have with squirrel-proof bird feeders.

At Hoffman's Exterminating Co., Inc. we provide a comprehensive list of pest control services and guarantee 100% satisfaction on every job. For help with pest control or prevention in your home, give us a call at (800) 615-3920 or contact us online today!