Winter Is No Time To Forget About Pests
Even with temperatures outside dipping to near freezing at night in some areas of the Golden State don’t be fooled that pests are not active in and around your home.
The Clark Man has seen more than his fair share of highly active pests that have not taken the winter off. The primary culprits are rodents, especially house mice.
Rodents seek warmer harborage locations with easy access to food and water during the winter and the storage areas, garages, sheds and even the kitchen cupboards or pantry in your home are ideal locations for mice to set up their winter retreat.
I suggest you seal cracks in the foundation of your house or utility pipe openings with caulk or other appropriate materials to deny rodents easy access, and check the weather stripping around exterior doors is in good repair.
Also make sure to keep food in sealed containers and not to leave pet food (the filet mignon of rodent food!) in the bowl overnight lest you want to feed a hungry mouse and its brood. And closely inspect any boxes you bring in from storage areas or that are delivered for signs of rodent infestation (i.e. droppings, chewed boxes, etc.).
And don’t forget about overwintering pests such as boxelder bugs, beetles, house flies or moths that seek out “hibernation” spots inside your home when the mercury on the thermometer falls.
These pests often stay dormant until spring but in California’s unique climate a sudden break in the winter cold can cause these pest “zombies” to think it is spring and make a surprise visit inside your house.
The Clark Man says the best way to prevent pests from overwintering is to exclude them from entering in the first place. As you would with rodents, sealing up exterior openings, keeping window screens and doors in good repair and inspecting packages are the most effective ways to keep pests out.
Who doesn’t like to sit around a warm, cozy fire on a cold winter evening? But did you realize that firewood is an ideal harborage for a host of potentially harmful and destructive pests that can be brought inside your home?
Beetles, termites, cockroaches, centipedes, stinging insects and even rodents are a popular inhabitant of firewood that isn’t stored properly. Wood that is stored on the ground and that is in contact with moisture is susceptible to pest infestation, especially destructive termites.
The Clark Man recommends you store firewood in a dry location off the ground and away from the house. Remember dry wood is less attractive to termites and other wood boring pests.
Also be sure to shake the wood before you bring it inside to remove any surface pests and bring in the wood only when you are ready to use it so the warmth of your house doesn’t “activate” any pests hiding in the wood and encourage them to emerge inside your house!
Remember, if an unwanted pest crosses your path, call 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an e-mail 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.