Jan232015

"Winter Precautions Against Pest Entry"

Typical cold weather pests in Northern and Central Virginia tend to seek shelter in higher numbers with the arrival of winter weather. Homeowners can take steps now to prevent any unwanted pests from taking advantage of your home's vulnerabilities caused by winter weather scenarios.

Snow, ice, wind and rain can all cause different types of home deficiencies that could end up granting pests entry both in the short and long-term. Consider these precautions that you can take based on the following winter weather conditions.

  • Snow: When the temperature drops and snow starts to accumulate, rodents including mice, rats and squirrels will be searching for warmth indoors. Rodents can squeeze through small cracks and crevices that might get overlooked, especially where pipes and wires enter the home. Once inside, they can cause structural and electrical damage and spread disease. Homeowners should regularly inspect the exterior and interior of their home for any possible access points for pests.
  • Ice: Homeowners should keep on the lookout for ice dams, which form on roofs and can prevent snow from melting. The moisture backup from ice dams can cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation and drywall. This can attract a number of pests that love moisture such as carpenter ants. Keep an eye out for any leaky spots in the home that could indicate an ice dam and take action to remove it before further damage occurs.
  • Wind: Strong winds can cause damage to roof shingles. Cracked areas in the roof and siding are perfect places for nuisance wildlife, including raccoons and bats, to gain access to the home. Periodically check the roof for missing shingles and be sure to fix damage right away.
  • Rain: Homeowners should check trouble spots for any leaks or areas of moisture caused by rain or melting snow. Pests such as termites are attracted to moisture and often go unseen as they eat wood and grow their colonies inside homes. Be sure basements and attics are dry and clear of water damage after heavy rain or snowfall.

Winter weather is aggravating in and of itself, but following these precautions will help homeowners avoid the additional headache of a future pest infestation.