It may be impossible to completely be rid of pests on outdoors on your property, but you can take measures to ensure they don’t come creeping inside your home this winter. By eliminating possible habitats around your yard, you decrease the chances of a pest infestation. Insects migrate indoors during the cold, wet months of winter to find shelter while they hibernate and lay eggs that will hatch in spring. Do a thorough walk-through of your home’s exterior and destroy any possible pest habitats to prevent insects from getting inside your home and overwintering. This will require you to think like a bug, searching for any insect-sized bridges that could help non-flying bugs get inside your house. You’ll also have to use your bug-senses to spot any places of refuge, or places where insects might be hiding out.
1. Clean Your Gutters
Gutters collect leaves, moisture, and muck, which creates a prime habitat for insects to burrow into. Clean out your gutters and downspouts so insects can’t take up residence in the debris.
2. Check Downspouts
Insects are attracted to moisture, so be sure to check your downspouts to ensure that they directing water away from your house. This will keep pests at bay as they are directed away from your house.
3. Store Firewood Outdoors, Away from the House
If your home has a fireplace, be sure to store all firewood outdoors, at least 20 feet away from your house. Insects love taking refuge in firewood, so be sure that you keep all firewood outdoors until you’re ready to burn it.
4. Eliminate Debris Resting Near Your House
Insects love to make themselves at home in old debris, so make sure you remove any debris resting against or near your house. This includes rocks, compost piles, bricks, old boards, and anything else you may have lying around.
5. Pull Mulch Away From Your House
If you have mulch next to your house, be sure to pull it away so it’s not resting right against the house. This will help keep insects away from your house’s structure.
6. Store Trash Cans Away From Your House
Trash is a prime food source for insects and other critters. Naturally, it attracts pests. Store any trash cans away from your house, and be sure to keep the lids on tight at all times.
7. Shift Plants so They Don’t Touch Your House’s Foundation
You don’t want plantings touching your house’s foundation, as insects like to live in them. Prune tree limbs that overhang your rooflines or gutters, and give your shrubs a trim so they don’t rub against your house’s walls, porch, deck, or any other outside structures.
8. Remove Autumn Leaves and Keep Them Away From the House
Remove any leaves that have collected outside and store them at least 20 feet away from the house. Leaf piles are a prime place for insects to take up residence.
9. Replace Exterior Lights
Replacing exterior light bulbs, which typically attract bugs, with yellow or sodium vapor bulbs will keep the bugs away during the winter and all year round.
If you take the time to do a thorough outdoor inspection and eliminate any possible habitats where bugs may be dwelling, you will be saving yourself the headache of having to deal with an indoor pest infestation further down the road. Remember that insects will be attracted to the warmth your home provides during the winter, so by eliminating their outdoor habitats, you are decreasing the risk of them making their way indoors.
About the author: Chris is writer for Excel Pest Control, a New Jersey based pest control company.