Temperatures across Ireland are predicted to fall this week, bringing the possibility of snow in some areas. Is your property ready for unexpected guests? As the dark stormy days descend on us, your home might be assaulted by rain, winds, frosts … and pests! By winterising your home, you can prepare it for the onslaught.
After the holiday parties, the big clean-up begins. Dirt, debris, and spills can spread disease and attract pests. And it’s harder to track down pests in an untidy home. Your first step is to keep your home clean and tidy at all times. Don’t make your home an inviting prospect for rodents.
Guests that won’t leave
No one likes unexpected guests on the very first day of New Year. And sometimes they just won’t take the hint and leave. Unfortunately, some of these unwanted guests regard your home as an ideal place to stay. Indeed, they may choose to hibernate in your basement or cellar.
Many insects hibernate indoors during winter. They may be mostly idle as they snuggle down for the long winter, but others continue to be active and even breed. And some use glycerol to keep them warm as the ice begins to bite.
Be sure to check your basement, attics and walls for signs of pest activity during these months. Do everything you can to prevent an infestation from taking hold. Here are some simple defence tactics you can take:
- Seal up cracks and holes in walls, drains and gutter
- Clear up all discarded food and liquids
- Use tight lids on bins
- Check windows and doors and seal up any gaps
- Don’t pile up firewood near your home walls
- Tidy your garage and take action if you see any evidence of pests
Dealing with rodents
A particular concern for many people at this time of year is an invasion of rats or mice. And these rodents make crafty adversaries, so you’ll need all your skills when tackling them. They are likely to seek food and shelter as the cold weather settles in. And once they gain entry, they can cause a lot of problems in your home. As well as spreading disease and bacteria, they can damage wires and furniture.
Don’t forget that mice and rats can squeeze through tiny openings, so seal up any possible entry points. And don’t leave scraps of food lying around. Even crumbs will entice rodents inside! Also pay attention to any smells in your kitchen. An unpleasant smell from a bin, dishwasher or fridge will be enough to get a rodent’s nose twitching.
Here are some more tips to help you tackle rodents:
- Seal: Tiny gaps and cracks are all it takes to weaken your defences. Check all walls, windows, doors, eaves and drains for possible gaps. Seal up any gaps with caulk or steel wool.
- Tidy: If your property is cluttered and untidy, pests will find many hidden shelters where they can bunk down for the winter. Clear away piles of newspaper and wood, and store them safely away from the home building. If using firewood, don’t bring it into the house unless you are going to burn it immediately. Otherwise, you may be carrying pests into your home.
- Dry: As well as seeking food, pests will also seek water and moisture in the winter. Leaks in the bathroom, attics and basement provide a vital supply of water for pests. In addition, don’t forget the damage to property that leaks can cause.
- Clear: After the autumn, leaves, twigs, branches and general garden debris have likely accumulated around your property. They provide ideal nests for pests. All the autumn leftovers need to be cleared away before the weather gets too cold. A good clearance will also make your property more pleasing to the eye.
Following these steps will help you prepare for any possible invasions. By pest-proofing your home, you can reduce your chances of an infestation. However, if you are worried that you already have a pest problem, contact the pest control experts. A professional pest controller has a range of rodent control options available to help successfully remove rats, mice, bed bugs, cockroaches, flies and spiders from your property, ensuring that the infestation doesn’t re-occur again.
Turn on the lights. Light a warm fire. Cook a nice meal. Settle down in your favourite couch. Relax in your warm, cosy home, safe in the knowledge that there are no intruders lurking in the shadows.