Mice can spread diseases as well as damage homes by chewing through electrical wire, drywall and insulation.
As temperatures across the Washington, D.C. area drop and the holiday season approaches, homeowners in Northern Virginia communities including Fairfax VA, Annandale, VA, Burke VA and Vienna VA should to take steps to pest-proof their home to prevent pests from dropping by uninvited. Rodents and cockroaches are some of the most common winter pests. They would love nothing more than to spend the chilly winter inside a cozy home. Not only can these pests damage your home, they can cause health problems.
Many people falsely associate cooler weather with relief from pests such as ants, mosquitoes and wasps, but the winter brings on a different set of pest problems that are just as serious, and often more dangerous.
Mice, rats and cockroaches are most likely to cause problems in Northern Virginia this time of year, so it’s important for homeowners to prevent these pests from entering their homes. In addition to being nuisances, mice and cockroaches are disease vectors and can exacerbate or cause asthma and allergy symptoms. Health conditions can also worsen as you spend increased time exposed to rodents, roaches and other pests indoors. Rodents can also damage your home by chewing through drywall, electrical wiring, insulation and wood. Mice, rats or squirrels that chew through electrical wiring can also cause fires.
The following tips can help keep your home pest-free this winter:
- Sealing the cracks and holes outside of your home can help prevent pests from getting inside.
- Inspect for gaps around areas where utilities and pipes enter the home. A mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime.
- Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around windows and the foundation to eliminate easy access for pests. This will also help keep your home warmer!
- Keep firewood covered and at least 20 feet from the home. Keeping it off the ground is also recommended.
- Declutter storage rooms, utility rooms and basements to remove possible hiding and nesting locations for mice.
- Inspect and eliminate leaks in pipes, clogged drains or other locations such as bathrooms, and kitchens than can retain moisture and attract roach infestations.
- Fix and replace storm windows as well as window screens. Installing door sweeps can help eliminate drafts and keep pests out.
- Have a professional chimney sweep clean your chimney, inspect chimney flues and install screens and caps. (We recommend the professionals at Winston’s Chimney Service).