If you’re hoping that winter’s arrival will turn your home into a pest-free zone, we’ve got some bad news. While it’s true that some pests – especially outdoor insects – need a warmer climate to thrive, many of our local mainstays don’t mind sticking around. In fact, chilly weather can actually make infestations worse by driving warm-blooded critters indoors. It’s not uncommon for rodents that were perfectly happy outdoors in the summer to migrate inside when the seasons change in search of cozy shelter and plentiful food sources.

Other than rodents and the occasional raccoon looking for a warm winter home in your attic, you’ll also want to watch out for the dreaded foursome: termites, spiders, bedbugs and roaches. Many insects are most active in the summer, but that doesn’t mean they go dormant in the winter. Even though they may not be as visible during the colder seasons, they’ll continue causing plenty of trouble behind the scenes. What can you do to minimize the damage? Following the five easy tips below is a good place to start.

1. Make your home into an impenetrable fortress. Pests can’t get inside if you barricade their favorite entry points, like pipes, exhaust vents, gaps between doors and window frames, foundation cracks, broken siding and torn screens.

2. Get rid of unnecessary clutter. Cardboard boxes, unsecured storage containers and piles of clothes make ideal nests for rodents, spiders and roaches.

3. Keep food out of reach at all times. Crumbs and garbage are pest magnets throughout the year, but with outdoor food sources becoming scarce as winter sets in, they’re even more irresistible. To prevent your home from becoming a free-for-all buffet for pests of all species and sizes, clean your kitchen after every meal, store leftovers in airtight containers and take the garbage out on a regular basis.

4. Don’t forget to clean your yard and gutters. Rotting leaves and wood debris attract pests that can migrate indoors when the temperature drops.

5. Make it a habit to check for signs of trouble. How do you know when your home is under threat? Live or dead pests, gnaw marks, grease trails, unexplained noises, structural damage, evidence of nesting and unusual smells are some of the most common warning signs.

Ultimately, whether you’re seeing an occasional pest, suspect a new infestation or just want a greater peace of mind, reaching out for professional help is always your best bet for a quick solution. From custom consultations to emergency treatments, the experienced team at My Pest Pros has your back. Contact us today to learn how we can help you maintain a pest-free home all winter long.