As the temperatures drop outside, pests that typically take shelter outdoors are sometimes forced to do so inside your own home. According to Pest World, these pests almost exclusively comprise different types of insects and rodents, such as mice and spiders.
Without targeting any particular pest in particular, there are a number of common blanket precautions that homeowners can take to keep most out, such as sealing up holes and other openings on the outside walls and foundation. Traps are also a tried-and-true method of combating pests.
If you are facing a particular pest infestation in the midst of the winter months and want to figure out which animals have decided to share your living space, here are some expert recommended tips and best practices to both identify and deter certain types of animals:
As the most commonly encountered pest of the rodent order in the country, mice make their nests in dark and rarely-frequented locations such as basements, attics or garages. Among other issues that they bring about for homeowners (including the spread of disease), mice can damage property because they like to chew through certain materials and wiring. Signs that mice have found their way into your home include droppings, damaged food and soft materials that have been chewed through. You also might be able to hear mice when they scurry inside the walls during the nighttime.
According to Pest World, house mice are capable of squeezing into holes and crevices that are at least the width of a dime, so one must be diligent when checking for openings. Many indoor holes and crevices are formed at points where piping and other utilities transition indoors, such as below baseboard heating elements and plumbing. These can be sealed up with caulking and steel wool. Another way to ensure mice are not tempted inside is to keep clean - particularly with regard to open food and piled clutter.; poisoned bait or traps can also be used as solutions.
While mice are indeed capable of carrying diseases and causing illnesses, brown rats are especially known for their ability to do so. Although they are larger than mice, on average, these rats are still capable of squeezing through small crevices and openings as tiny as the size of a quarter. Among other diseases, brown rat bites can result in jaundice, rat-bite fever and cowpox.
Much like mice, telltale signs that rats are inside your home include items such as food packages that are chewed through, as well as greasy-looking markings from the rodents having rubbed up with their oily fur. Any areas that are especially moisture-rich or neglected are attractive nesting locations for rats. For the removal of both mice and rats, one simple solution is allowing a pet cat to hunt on a daily basis.
Most homeowners are not open to the idea of allowing spiders to live inside their homes, but the reality of their presence is often unavoidable - still they can even be helpful with regard to catching other insect pests throughout the year. During the winter, however; some spiders that have come indoors may be particularly aggressive and could be venomous, for example: the brown recluse.
To hinder these spiders and others from coming into your home in the first place, Pest World suggests that tree branches and brush overhanging or close to your home be trimmed back and the inside (especially less-frequently visited areas) be cleaned regularly. In order to avoid any surprises, clothing, shoes and wearable items need to be stored properly so that spiders cannot hide inside. As attractive locations for spiders that could find their way indoors, firewood stacks to heat wood stoves should be situated at least 20 feet away from any habitable buildings.
When it comes to pest-proofing your home or trapping unwanted critters, costs for materials can add up depending on the severity of your problem. To see if we can help cover the cost of these operations, contact Aqua Finance today.