With temperatures in the single digits and the wind chill below zero, New England winters can be serious business. Frigid weather keeps us inside or bundled up when we must venture out. But how are these conditions affecting your home? And are they sending pests inside? Read on to find out what you can do, and how Modern Pest Services can help.
How Do Winter Pests Affect Your Home?
- Raccoons, squirrels, rats, and mice can cause structural damage to drywall, furniture, and personal items
- They can chew through electrical wires and create fire hazards
- Rodents, raccoons, and cockroaches can contaminate food and spread bacteria and pathogens to humans
- Cockroach allergens are known to trigger allergies and exacerbate asthma symptoms, especially in children.
- All these pests can spread diseases like tapeworms, hantavirus, salmonellosis, and rabies to humans
How Does Winter Weather Affect Your Home?
Snow, ice, rain, and wind can all negatively affect homes and make them more accessible for pests.
- Snow accumulation sends rodents seeking warmth indoors. If there are small cracks and crevices in your home, they make easy access points. Pay special attention to places where pipes and wires enter the house
- Ice dams form on roofs and prevent snow from melting. This moisture back-up can damage walls, ceilings, insulation, and drywall. This can attract various pests that love moisture, such as carpenter ants or termites
- Rain and melting snow can cause leaks and points of moisture. Pests like termites that are attracted to moisture can build nests and grow their colonies undetected inside homes
- Wind can damage roof shingles. Damaged areas in the roof and siding are ideal places for nuisance wildlife like raccoons, squirrels, and bats to gain entry to your home.
Things You Can Do
What other precautions can you take to protect your home from winter pests?
- Mice can fit through a hole the size of a dime and rats through a hole the size of a quarter. Be sure to seal cracks and holes with caulk, steel wool, or copper mesh
- Keep basements and attics dry after heavy rain to avoid pests making the damage worse
- Be on the lookout for signs of mice and rats such as droppings, gnaw marks, and damaged food containers. Also check for greasy rub marks on walls
- Eliminate all sources of moisture
- Keep counters and floors free of crumbs and take out the garbage frequently
- Inspect under appliances and sinks for cockroach activity
- Keep trashcans and recycling bins tightly sealed or locked in a building to keep animals out
- Cover exposed chimneys or other openings with caps or mesh covers to prevent entry
- Trim tree branches to avoid creating a bridge for squirrels and raccoons to access your home
- After harsh winter weather, check vulnerable spots in the home such as the roof and doors for damage. Repair damage and replace missing shingles and vent covers right away
How Modern Pest Can Help
Your home should be your sanctuary from harsh winter conditions, and you shouldn’t share it with damage- and disease-causing pests. If you suspect you have an infestation of any winter intruder, call Modern Pest right away. It’s always easier to alleviate an issue before it gets worse.
Modern’s Homecare Green program protects against over 50 common household pests, including mice, rats, and cockroaches. And our Wildlife Control Team can handle squirrel, raccoon, and bat issues. Call Modern today at 1-800-323-PEST for more information or to schedule service.
Stay warm and safe this winter with help from the pros at Modern Pest.