Winter Is Coming – Preventing Animals From Hibernating Within Your Walls
Winter is upon us! Gone are the blisteringly hot summer days and it’s time to bring those winter coats out of storage to keep yourself from sheltering. The roof over your head does a pretty good job of keeping you warm and safe from the harsh winter – something that wild animals and pests would agree.
As the season changes, so do the animals and pests that inhabit your walls. Winter is a prime time for raccoons, mice, and squirrels to hibernate within your walls – unless you do something about it.
Here are a handful of prevention tips that you can implement to keep these animals and pests away.
Keep Your Kitchen Clean
Nothing draws hungry pests into your home as quickly as food. When you leave crumbs on counters and food on the ground, you attract all kinds of hungry animals. Keep your kitchen counters, fridge, microwave, and other appliances clean. In addition, make sure that all your food is stored in sealed contains to prevent pests from breaking in.
If you have a cat or dog with you, make sure to keep their food cleaned as well. It’s also just as important to clean after your pet once they are done eating. This is because the leftovers will attract pests and animals.
Inspect the Exterior of Your Home
Animals that intend to cohabit with you will scout your house to see if it’s viable enough to live in. Pests commonly make their way in through cracks, holes, and other entryways that you may not have considered previously. Even if the holes aren’t very large, small animals such as squirrels and rats can make their way through – and you won’t even know it.
Pro tip: You can call a professional restoration company in Central Illinois to inspect the exterior of your home and tend to necessary repairs.
Seal the Entry Points
Now that you know about common entry points to your house, it’s time to do something about them.
Here are a few quick fixes you can try over the weekend:
Re-caulk the doors and windows: If you see cracks that are big enough for bugs to crawl in, repair and re-caulk to make sure they are properly sealed.
Repair or Replace Screens on Your Windows: Although they may not seem like much, screens are useful in preventing pests from entering your home. We recommend upgrading to storm windows because they can keep bugs out (and lower your energy bills).
Install Door Sweeps: This step will seal your house from the outside and prevent bugs from entering in. It will also lower your energy bills!
Check the vents in your home to see if they have a pest infestation. Vents are an important feature and should not be blocked. This doesn’t mean you should allow the wide-open holes to act as a convenient entry point for animals and pests.
Put screens around the vents to ensure that air can properly circulate but that no animals can get inside.
Get Rid of the Clutter
It’s easy to see shopping bags, cardboard boxes, and gift wrap piling up over time. The problem with all this clutter is that it provides a convenient hiding spot for animals and pests, especially areas around the house that don’t serve as a primary living space (such as garages and attics).
Getting rid of clutter may be inconvenient, but it will help with any pest problem you may have. Pick up old newspapers and junk lying around for pests to hide under. Boxes and storage areas that are useful to you may invite animals, so make sure to keep them organized and elevated a few feet from the ground.
Fix Anything That Could Leak Water
A pipe leak could cause water to your property over time, such as cabinets and wood flooring. Worse still is the fact that standing water draws in pests and provides them with a safe haven. This becomes a serious problem in the winter because pests prefer to live in cold and wet areas of the house. So make sure to check your faucets for leaks and repair them.
Call a water damage restoration team in Central Illinois to evaluate your house for water damage. These experts use moisture sensors to detect the presence of leaks and standing water.
Leave the Firewood Outside
It’s nice to have a fire on a cold winter night. But firewood can be a home to several pests that are eager to invade your home. As such, keep firewood outside your house at a distance of about thirty feet to keep any pests away.
Inspect the Chimneys
Wild animals like raccoons and squirrels can scale just about anything, including chimneys. This makes it incredibly easy for them to enter your house.
You can stop this by adding steel mesh barriers over your chimney to filter wildlife out. Without a mesh barrier acting as a barrier, nothing is stopping wild animals from breaking inside. It’s worth noting that mesh barriers can get damaged over time, so you may want to see if the one you are currently using is still in working order.
Winter brings enough problems to residents in Central Illinois such as wind, frost, and snow damage. Following the above steps will protect your house from winter pests and create a healthier place for everyone.
If you’re worried about a pest infestation, contact a restoration specialist. For more guidance, reach out to your local 911 Restoration team in Central Illinois. Our helpful team is always ready to help!