Wednesday
April 23, 2014

Keep Winter Pests Where They Belong: Outside

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Keep Winter Pests Where They Belong: Outside

With record low temperatures and accumulating piles of snow driving people into the comfort of their cozy homes, it's a good time to remind your clients and customers that it's never too late to make sure they don't have unexpected company as bugs and other pests look for shelter as well.

Advice site Lifehacker.com recently reminded its readers to protect against four different kinds of infestations: spiders; mice, rats, and other rodents; attic critters such as squirrels and raccoons; and bugs that nestle in firewood.

A partial solution shared by the first three problems is making sure that all points of entry are sealed, from tiny cracks to holes in the roof. Once that's accomplished, Lifehacker says, stringent cleaning should vanquish problem spiders. Rodents can be dissuaded from settling in by making sure they can't find any food; along with cleaning, storing food properly in containers vermin can't claw or gnaw into will help avoid attracting them. "Cleaning the kitchen, putting away pet food, and keeping dry food in sealed plastic containers all help to ensure any rodents don't find a buffet," says Lifehacker writer Eric Ravenscraft.

Before sealing points of entry for larger animals on the roof, conduct an audit to make sure none have entered yet; you don't want to trap them inside. Humane traps can be used for bait and release strategies. Once you're confident the house is clear, you can seal the roofs's cracks and vents.

Finally, if your customers keep firewood handy, remind them to keep it on a raised plastic platform away from the house. Storing it under sheets of plastic can help keep insects out and might even raise the temperature under the plastic to a level they can't survive in. As your clients bring in firewood, they should inspect it for infestation. Many bugs can settle into firewood, but termites are an obvious first indication of infestation.

With these guidelines in mind, your clients should be much closer to a distraction-free winter with only the approved residents of their homes.

Source: How to Manage Your Winter Pest Problem, Lifehacker.com

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