When the temperatures start to drop, we can’t help but want to be inside, curled up on the couch with our fuzziest blanket, in our comfiest sweats, while we sip on a piping hot mug of cocoa. Unfortunately, we aren’t the only ones that want to be inside. Winter can attract unwanted pests that are also looking for somewhere warm to hunker down. Here are some of our best tips for keeping bugs out of your home this season.
Always Be on the Lookout
Sometimes it seems like bugs appear out of nowhere, but this isn’t usually the case; there is almost always a source. Be on the lookout for warning signs and problem areas, check outside where bugs may be congregating, look for any standing water, and keep branches and shrubs well-groomed and away from your walls.
Check Your Windows and Doors
Look for any windows or doors that don’t shut all the way. Even a slightly open door or window can become an easy entryway for pests and insects. If your doors don’t close all the way, you may need to purchase some weather stripping at your local hardware store. When it comes to windows, there is a good chance the problem is in your screen. Luckily, replacement screens are relatively affordable and easy to install.
Eliminate Water and Food Sources
Pests aren’t just looking for a place to sleep; they’re also on the hunt for food and water. Eliminating these sources will make them feel less “at home.” Do this by wiping down countertops frequently to avoid crumbs, storing food in sealed containers, removing dirty dishes from your sink, and not leaving pet food or water out overnight.
Double- and Triple-Check Your Christmas Tree
If you opt for a live Christmas tree, thoroughly inspect it before bringing it into your home. As an extra precaution, give your tree a good shake before hauling it inside.
Keep Firewood Away From the House
When we imagine the quintessential night in, a blazing fireplace is one of the first things we think of. If you have a fireplace that requires firewood, make sure you store the wood at least 5 feet from your home. Bugs love to find refuge in a good firewood stack, which, unfortunately, means it can be a first-class trip right into your home. Much like your Christmas tree, give the firewood a good shake, and rub it down with gloves before bringing it inside.
Keep Shoes and Boots Off the Floor
It’s tempting to kick off your shoes the moment you step inside and leave them there, but instead, consider using a shoe rack or plastic bin to store shoes when not in use. This will keep any stragglers that may have gotten stuck to the soles at bay.
Take Out the Trash
We know the last thing any of us want to do is take out the trash, but you have to because bugs love trash. Also, make sure your trash is stored in a closed bin.
Know When You’ve Been Defeated
If you just can’t seem to get rid of your unwanted guests, call the professionals. A good exterminator should be able to find the source of your infestation and safely spray or put out traps to combat the problem.
Do you have any tips for keeping bugs out of your home? Share them with us in the comments below!