Keeping Pests Out During The Winter
By Elli Davis, November 11, 2011
Box Elder Bug by Liji Jinaraj
As it becomes chilly outside, it is tempting to spend your days huddled up under a warm blanket on a sofa with a cup of tea or hot chocolate. Believe it or not, insects have similar intentions. Not that they want to drink chocolate, but as they have no body fat, wintertime is very uncomfortable for them. Unfortunately, what many of them are looking for are nice, warm homes like ours, to survive the cold winter months.
Some of us have experience with little red and black bugs called box elder bugs. Warm spaces, like your house, are full of them once it gets cold. Even though these bugs are completely harmless, it is annoying to have them around. However it is even worse to have to deal with pests that are more dangerous. Rodents, spiders, and cockroaches are frequent visitors to warm homes in the colder months, too. Many of them bite, spread diseases, contaminate food, and trigger allergies and asthma attacks. They definitely need to go. How can you get rid of them easily and effectively?
Do Not Crush Them!
It is good to start with avoiding the following mistake: when seeing insects, many react immediately by killing them. If you think about it, it is not the smartest idea to crush bugs, though. They might well leave stains on the furniture and walls, accompanied by unpleasant smells. Ideally, one should try to prevent bugs coming inside. It is a lot easier than killing all of them once you let them in. Is it even possible to do that, however? You will have to see for yourself, but it is undoubtedly worth a try.
How Do They Get In?
Most importantly, you need to realize how the bugs might be coming in. Look for possible cracks in the walls — especially around windows, doors and pipes. If there are some, they need to be fixed as soon as possible. If your window screen is broken, even if just a tiny bit, it ought to be replaced. Do not make it easy for warmth-seeking bugs; do not let them find a way to get in. Trees and any vegetation around your house need to be properly trimmed and taken care of, as excessively long branches might easily serve as bridges right into your home.
Inside Somehow by Joanna Poe
Other, often forgotten ways pests can get into your place include pets and fireplace wood. It is best not to store firewood inside. Find a place close but not too close to your home where you can always go to pick some up when you need it. Cockroaches and ants often nest in wood. It is therefore crucial to inspect wood well before bringing it in.
Once you try and hopefully succeed to eliminate most of the bugs‘ entrances to your home, your job is still not over. Unfortunately, it is likely a few of them will get inside anyway and you therefore need to eliminate everything they might be looking for. Think about what pests are trying to find in the winter aside from warmth.
The answer is food. You ought to destroy their food sources. Get rid of all crumbs, do not leave food lying around your kitchen, and use insect-proof containers for storing your food. Pet food should not be stored in unsealed containers either, and it is definitely a bad idea to leave it outside until your pet eats it. It indeed is a huge attraction as well as a great shelter for many bugs.
General sanitation is extremely important. I am sure most of you do realize this, but it is good to mention it nonetheless. Do not leave dishes in the sink for days. Clean the kitchen and vacuum regularly. And take the trash out as frequently as possible. Not only is dirt disgusting, but it is also a huge attraction for bugs of any kind. Keep reminding yourself of that fact when you feel too lazy to do a bit of cleaning. If everything is kept perfectly clean, bugs will not have many reasons to spend winter in your home.
If you think you are doing everything absolutely right but your home is full of pests, it is time to let professionals solve the situation. Luckily, the process is not dangerous and it does not take too long, even though it usually requires more than one visit. It is not very cheap, either; you ought to be prepared to pay a few hundred dollars. In spite of the relatively high costs, life without bugs is worth it. If you are looking for a Toronto-based company to help you have a pest-free home, you have quite a lot options. Good luck and do not let bugs ruin you lovely winter evenings!