Pest-Proof Your Home For Winter

Last Updated: October 2, 2008By

Courtesy of Orkin

The arrival of cooler weather means pests may be targeting your house for a warm hideout. Pest-proofing your home now can prevent these unwanted guests from settling in for the winter.

Rodents and cockroaches, two pests that can pose serious health threats, are stealthy wintertime invaders seeking warmth, food and water inside your home. In fact, because cockroaches prefer secure, tight spaces, even the smallest crack or crevice in a wall can serve as a highway into your home. Additionally, Smoky brown cockroaches can sense a temperature decrease of only five degrees, and will use this change as a signal to head indoors. Once inside, cockroaches can contaminate food and make you sick, as well as trigger asthma attacks.

Rats, which can enter homes through quarter-sized openings, and mice, which can squeeze through dime-sized holes, are also known to contaminate food and transmit harmful diseases. In addition to seeking immediate shelter from cooler weather, several species of rodents may move indoors now and continue hiding and thriving in your home even after warmer spring weather arrives.

Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that pests have become a problem in their home until it’s too late. According to Orkin, Inc. entomologist Ron Harrison, Ph.D., “The easiest way to avoid a winter infestation is to take action to protect your home in the fall.”

Harrison offers the following tips to prevent winter pest guests from entering and nesting in your home:
Ą Seal or repair cracks in siding, faulty door/window screens, and gaps around pipes entering the home.
Ą Trim branches, plants and bushes to remove any natural pathways for pests to get indoors.
Ą Inspect firewood carefully to avoid bringing roaches and other pests inside.
Ą Keep mulch several feet from your home to avoid attracting insects to this moist habitat.
Ą Clean counters and dishes, and tightly seal leftovers.
Ą Rinse recyclable containers before storing.
Ą Pick up and store pet food overnight.
Ą Empty garbage and vacuum frequently.

If potentially harmful pests like cockroaches or rodents enter your home, it’s best to trust an experienced professional to determine the most effective treatment and control. For more information, visit or call (800) 800-ORKIN.

Rodents are stealthy wintertime invaders seeking warmth, food and water inside your home.


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