Homeowners in Washington, D.C., metro (Manassas) aren’t new to pest infestation in the cold season. Each year, they receive unwelcome guests in the name of winter pests. Stink bugs, mice, silverfish, and other pests come out of their hideouts. Why?
Let’s just say they can’t withstand the extreme winter cold and snow on the outside. Your home provides them with a warm shelter and food until spring. One thing is for sure: When these visitors come in, they will leave the crawl space much worse than they found it. From tearing insulation to soiling the floor to chewing wood, these pests will ruin your crawl space.
With the cold weather, now is the appropriate time to inspect your home and take decisive steps to keep gnawing pests out.
Sealing Windows and Doors
Poorly sealed doors and windows provide pests with an easy passage to your home throughout the winter. Most critters can squeeze through small openings or spaces around your doors and windows. In no time, you’ll have an infestation even before you know there’s a problem. Make sure you seal these openings properly to stop pest invasion.
Keep Food in Airtight Containers
Winter pests coming into your home will head for the kitchen. If food is stored in loosely closed containers or jars, they will have a field day. These pests won’t just snack on your food but contaminate it with bacteria or fecal matter that could cause diseases.
Seal Exterior Wall Cracks
Mice need an opening that’s 1/8 of an inch to get into your home. As temperatures start falling, these critters will make a dash for your home. What better way to access the living space than through cracks on the walls? It’s vital that you inspect your home’s exterior and fill those cracks so mice won’t get an easy passage to your home. If you notice significant wall cracks, it’s best to reach out to a professional for foundation repair solutions.
Leave Firewood Outside
Nothing beats the feeling of snuggling up on a warm blanket next to a toasty fireplace on a cold winter night. But the wood from the outside could ruin that experience, as it’s likely to harbor pests. Make sure that wood stays outside and at least 20 feet away from the home. This way, pests won’t use them to get in.
Inspect Gift Packs
Don’t just accept gift packages gleefully without checking them. The same goes for holiday décor storage that’s been lying idle. Some of them could be harboring pests or insects escaping the winter cold. Open your package and inspect the contents just to be sure there are no pests hitching a ride.
Keep Boxes Off the Ground
Low-lying storage boxes are easy targets for winter pests. When mice and other crawlies get into your home, they’re likely to nest in the storage box on the floor. After all, it’s cluttered and no one bothers to check their content. Watch for scratch marks and pest droppings this winter. If the boxes are pest-free, remove them from the ground and place them in an elevated area.
Always Leave Counters Clean
Anytime you prepare food or serve it, wipe off the food crumbs that fall on your kitchen counters. Pests can sniff the tiniest of crumbs and invade the kitchen. You don’t want to give them a reason to scrounge around the kitchen when you’re sleeping.
Place Bins in Sealed Areas
As cold weather sets in, you’re likely to experience an influx of raccoons around your property. These furry critters are going to be drawn to the trash bins. To keep them away, store the bins in a locked or enclosed area. Make sure the bins have an animal-proof lid.
Encapsulate the Crawl Space
Sealing up the crawl space with a 20-mil vapor barrier does more than keep moisture at bay. It also prevents creepy crawlies from invading the crawl space or using it as a staging area to get into your home. The heavy-duty liner covers the entire floor and walls, leaving a small space for a termite inspection. Be sure the access door is sealed properly and closes tightly.
Seal Crawl Space Vents
Leaving vents open is a direct invitation for pests to come into your home. And they will keep coming as long as the vents stay open. You can avert pest infestation by covering these fixtures with plastic vent covers.
Other additional steps you can take include removing bird nests, moving firewood away, and sealing foundation gaps and holes. JES Foundation Repair can help you out with crawl space encapsulation and foundation repairs in Washington, D.C., metro (Manassas). Schedule a free crawl space inspection and quote and find out your level of preparedness before winter arrives.