Don’t Hibernate This Winter, Because Pests Want In
People aren’t the only ones scampering to escape the heavy rains and, in some places, snow across California this winter. A variety of pests, especially rodents, seek shelter from the winter storms as well, and their target could be your home.
Adverse winter weather – colder temperatures, rain, snow – motivates rodents and other pests to seek accommodations more favorable to survival, along with new sources for food to replace the ones eliminated by the weather.
The strong winds and heavy rains that make up California’s winter storms can damage the exterior of your home and, in the process, create openings for rodents and other pests to gain access inside.
Heavy rain and winds can loosen shingles and expose openings in the roof that would allow roof rats to enter your home. Caulking around door and window frames can also come loose, as can parts of your home’s foundation, which create gaps that provide mice and other pests with an opening to new food sources and shelter.
Once these early season storms pass, homeowners should conduct an inspection of the exterior of their homes and perform necessary repairs to keep pests sealed out. Here is the Clark Man’s Winter Pest Checklist:
- Check screens on attics and utility vents, and around chimney openings, to make sure there are no torn portions
- Eliminate excess moisture that has accumulated due to rain or snow
- Double-check pipes for leaks, and look for clogged drains and broken irrigation systems
- Keep attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry
- Re-seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home using a silicone-based caulk, steel wool, or a combination of both
- Replace loose or broken mortar and weatherstripping around the foundation, doors, and windows
- Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged window screens
- Keep shrubbery and tree branches trimmed at least six to eight feet from your home’s roofline
- Clean out leaves and other debris from gutters, because they can serve as pest harborage sites
If you have questions on pests trying to gain access to your home this winter, call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time I’m the Clark Man, and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.