Mid-Winter Maintenance Checklist for Pests 

Mid-Winter Maintenance Checklist for Pests 

Do you feel like it has already been a long, cold winter? After an unseasonably warm holiday season, it seems like winter came to our area at full strength. We have already seen multiple snowy events, and there is no sign of the cold abating any time soon. 

With subfreezing temperatures, snow, and ice, you might be wondering why in the world you have pests in your home. The one perk of winter should be the lack of bugs, right? Unfortunately, many insects and rodents are active throughout the season.

Wouldn’t it be nice if pests hibernated during the winter? It would be… but not all of them do! While we do get a nice little break from mosquitos and black flies, we still have to deal with mice, rats, cockroaches, spiders, and other creepy crawlies that seek shelter from the cold. 

You may start to feel like you’re running an Airbnb for pests in your cozy home. Winter is not even halfway over. It is not uncommon for temperatures to remain frigid through March. You can’t just wait till spring for them to go away. You’re going to have to do something about those pesky winter pests right away.

Not to worry: with a few simple steps, you can kick them out and prevent the damage, bites, allergies, and mess they create.

In this article, we are providing some tips for getting bugs and insects out of your home. 

Quick and Easy Pest Checklist

Here is your mid-winter pest checklist:

1) Seal Up Your Home.

Pests may be uninvited, but they still find their way inside your house. Well, they can’t get in without an entry point. If you have pests, they are getting in through some kind of opening.

Do a visual inspection of the outside of your home. Do you see any cracks, holes, or gaps, especially around the areas in which pipes and utility lines enter your home? 

Seal them with caulking or weatherstripping, or have a professional come out and help. Remember, a mouse can fit through a hole as small as a dime, and a rat needs just a quarter-sized entry.

There are other benefits to sealing up your home’s crawl space.

Closing your crawl spaces can help you save money by making your home more energy-efficient; encapsulating your crawl spaces can save you up to 18% on heating and cooling bills per year! Encapsulating your crawl area also protects your family by enhancing interior air quality, resulting in fewer allergies and easier breathing. 

2) Keep Your Firewood Away from Your Home. 

There is nothing like cozying you by the fire on a cold winter night or while watching the snowfall outside your window. However, when the weather outside is frightful, the last thing you want to do is trudge through the snow (or rain) to fetch firewood. It is tempting to keep your woodpile close enough to the house to make it as short of a trip as possible.

The problem is that pests and rodents love woodpiles. They often make camp in firewood until they can sneak into your home in a wood bundle. If they can’t hitch a ride with you, they will just wait till you’re not looking and make a break for the nearest entry point.

If you heat with wood, make sure your woodpile is at least 20 feet away from your house. Make it so that mice, ants, carpenter ants, and other pests can’t nest here and gain easy access to your home. 


3) Cut Down on the Clutter. 

Our area is known for being a place where people enjoy getting out and experiencing the great outdoors. But with frigid temperatures and the threat of winter weather, we spend most of our time indoors. When your family is stuck inside, it is easy for the clutter to pile up. 

You may hate clutter, but rodents love it. Clutter gives them somewhere to hide, and in it, they may find their favorite snacks. As this is a season for stocking up on food items, our pantries become like buffets for these unwanted guests.

Keep your storage areas organized and make sure boxes are not left on the floor. Make sure any opened food items are stored in sealed containers to ensure there is not easy access to the stuff rodents like. Reduce any clutter in rooms and closets to give them fewer hiding places. 

4) Keep Moisture to a Minimum. 

Winter is one of the wettest seasons in our area. We average almost a foot of snow and plenty of rain during these months. When moisture invades your home, it invites pests to come and find what they need to thrive. 

Throughout the cold season, check for leaking pipes, clogged drains, and areas that may have sustained water damage. Pay especially close attention to the bathrooms, kitchens, and utility rooms. These areas are not only likely to have excess moisture, but they will also attract pests. 

screen vented chimneys

5) Add Screen Vents to Chimneys. 

After the holidays are over, we don’t think about the chimney as an entry point. However, for rodents, wildlife, and pests, it is the perfect entry point through which to sneak into your home. 

Adding screen vents to your chimney can keep pests (and birds) from pulling a Santa Claus and coming into your home via the chimney.

6) Keep Pet Food in Sealed Containers.

We all love our pets. They are as much a part of our family as anyone else. Unfortunately, for them and sometimes us, they are likely stuck in the house much more during the winter as well. You might find their food is more likely to get on the floor and scattered in your pet areas. 

Pet food is a magnet for pests. If your pet food is inside or in the garage, make sure it has a tight lid. Clean it up quickly if it gets spilled. 

trash temptation

7) Take Out the Trash.

Winter is not the season for cramming more and more trash in your cans. A busted trash bag is a call for all pests in the area to come to have a meal. 

Use a trash receptacle with a tight lid, and don’t let your trash pile up in the garage. 

8) Don’t Leave Food Out. 

This is good practice no matter what time of year. Clean up your counters and sinks, put away leftovers, and if your trash has food scraps, take it out to the can outside (which should also have a tight-fitting lid). Open food will attract pests as much as anything.

When we have mid-winter warmups, this also causes pests to move. It can also prompt them to start reproducing - a problem you do not want to deal with.

If you’re noticing signs of pest problems or infestation, contact the pros at Rid-A-Bug immediately. Our trained, experienced technicians will diagnose the problem and develop an effective plan to remove unwanted visitors to your home.

Pests don’t hibernate. Fortunately, neither do we.