There are few things quite as unpleasant and damaging to your home as a pest infestation; cockroaches, rodents, and other pests are far more active in the cold weather. After all, pests want to get out of the cold just like us. Learning to recognize the signs of infestation and ideal breeding grounds for pests is just one of the things you can do to keep your home pest-free.
There are also some simple tasks you can undertake to keep your home free from pests this winter.
Signs of an Infestation
The most obvious signs of an infestation are visible droppings and a bad odor. The droppings will look different depending upon the pests in question, of course, but almost all infestations will come with a bad smell. Other signs include:
- Damaged soft furnishings and wooden beams
- Chewed or damaged electrical wiring
- An increased number of spiders in your home.
You see, while you can have a spider infestation, spiders also feed on insects which means that a sudden influx of spiders could indicate an infestation of different bugs such as termites.
Once you have an infestation, there is little you can do other than calling a professional to safely remove the pests from your home and repair any damages that may have been caused. However, you can prevent infestations from taking root at all.
4 Ways to Prevent Pest Infestation This Winter
When it comes to preventing infestations, the buzzwords are “vigilance” and “sanitation”; knowing where to look and what to look for is only half of the battle. Keeping your home clear of debris and buildup is also key. Here are four simple steps you can take to avoid pest infestations.
1. Identify Hotspots
Infestation hotspots are areas that are most attractive to pests. A hotspot is an area that is warm, dark and has something that could be a source of food. A dry area will attract different pests than a humid or damp area. The most likely hotspots are in and around your garbage bins, in your crawl space, behind or under large appliances (for example, your water heater or stove), and inside the walls.
2. Clear Out Debris
Keep areas that meet these criteria free from debris as much as you can, and in the case of your walls, ensure there are no large or obvious gaps that could allow pests to enter or exit. Organic debris is the most likely to attract pests as some bugs, such as cockroaches. Debris that does not act as food can nonetheless harbor infestations and nests. You should even check out your crawl space to make sure there is no buildup of debris, failing insulation, or mold growth there that could be attracting pests.
3. Reinforce Your Perimeter
Most pests enter your home through gaps in your walls or window or door frames. Performing a basic sweep of your home’s perimeter looking for gaps, cracks, and holes, especially near utility penetration points, will go a long way. All you need to do is fill these gaps with sealant to prevent entry. Your crawl space may be the most at-risk locale, so it’s important to install the right repair measures to properly waterproof, encapsulate, and insulate this area.
However, if cracks seem to be spreading from your foundation, you should have a professional assess your home for underlying issues.
4. Set a Sanitization Schedule
Finally, you should regularly sanitize infestation hotspots to remove buildup and debris that may be attractive to pests. Some pests, for example, can live on the buildup around or in pipes and appliances. Use an organic sanitizer to remove this residue and dissuade pests from taking up residence in your home.
These simple steps are surprisingly effective in keeping infestations at bay. However, there is always a chance you will find yourself dealing with pests. If this happens, you should call a professional right away. Pests can be troublesome during any time of year, but especially in winter as they seek haven from the colder weather. To keep your home from becoming that hideaway, be sure to remain vigilant about what could attract and house them. JES Foundation Repair can also help you correct any damage or install more barriers against invaders of every kind – be they mice, bugs, or even mold. Get in contact for a free no-obligation inspection appointment to see how your home can be more winter (and pest) proof right now.