Winter is a tough time for wildlife and rodents. When their food supply dwindles drastically, they seek warm places to take shelter while they wait out the cold spells. Unfortunately, your home can offer them a solution to both if you don’t take steps to prevent them from becoming unwanted long-term residents in your house. The following are a few ways to let wildlife and rodents know they are not welcome in your home.
Tips on Keeping Rodents and Wildlife from Invading your Home
- Check for holes on the outside of your house: Leave the lights on inside and see if you see light coming from any holes in the exterior. Also check for drafts coming from the inside. Both will be clues that you have entry points for small guests to come inside your home.
- Cut back plants near the house: Rodents like to hide behind plants, wood piles, and piles of junk that you may have close to your house. They are trying to stay warm and simply waiting for an opportunity to enter your house at the first available chance when someone forgets to close the door or they can find that secret hole that leads into the house. Also trim trees that have limbs close to the house. Animals will use the limbs to climb onto the roof and enter through a chimney to get in. Cut any ivy or other climbing plants back from your house before animals use it as a ladder to gain entrance to your house.
- Seal off windows and doors: If you think you might have your doors or windows for any period of time, make sure to place a screen to keep pests out. Seal any cracks with inexpensive caulking or foam. Check the weather-stripping to make sure it is still in good condition.
- Cover vents with screens: If you have any open vents on the inside of the home, such as vents in the kitchen area, cover them with screens. That way you can still allow air to flow through, but prevent small critters from coming out to play when you are not looking.
- Don’t leave food out: Rodents and other wildlife have a keen sense of smell for food. Be sure to clean up at the end of the day, putting any extra food in containers or in the refrigerator. Wipe down your counters, sweep your floors, and do your dishes. Be sure to either have a tight-fitting lid for your trash inside the house or take your trash out at the end of the day.
If you suspect that the wildlife around you are trying to gain entrance to your home, or might have already, it might be time to call an expert on pest removal. Or if you simply want to assess your home and make it more pest-proof, why not call the friendly experts at Clark’s Pest Control of South Carolina? Like you, we won’t be satisfied until the pests are gone.
Tommy Miles - December 7, 2017
Cutting down and buying your own Christmas tree is a cherished and honored event for many families. However, there are lots of critters that may be living in the Christmas tree that you could inadvertently bring home with you. Also, a natural Christmas tree in your house could attract a host of other pests. Don’t let a few little animals ruin the holiday fun. A few simple tricks can keep the animals at bay while you can enjoy Christmas with your loved one and without unwanted guests.
Tips for Keeping Bugs and Other Animals Away from the Christmas Tree
- Look inside and under the tree: Before you bring the Christmas tree inside your home, look underneath branches and inside them. Remove any nests or animals that you might find. Nests can store various parasites from birds including lice and mites.
- Use a mechanical tree shaker: Many Christmas tree lots offer a free shaking down of the tree that you picked out. Not only is this helpful for removing little bugs and other animals, it also shakes out extra needles, so you have less of a mess when you set up your tree.
- Avoid bug spray: When faced with an infestation it might be ever so tempting to grab the nearest bug spray. However, most bug sprays are highly flammable. Between all the candles, Christmas lights, and wood place fires, bug spray could be very dangerous and create some real Christmastime trouble.
- Apply diatomaceous earth to the tree: Sprinkle diatomaceous powder over the tree to kill any remaining bugs. You might let the Christmas tree sit in your garage for a few days to let the diatomaceous earth do its magic. At the end of the three-day period, bring it inside and set it up.
- Grab the vacuum: Vacuum the trunk for any bugs that you see. Lay a white blanket down underneath the tree. That way if any bugs escape, you will be able to see them and vacuum them up. As soon as you are done, remove the vacuum dust bag and set it in the outside trash can so that the bugs cannot make their way inside again.
- Turn up the heat: Bugs that come in from the outside are used to the cold conditions. They will flee your house if the thermostat is turned up. Your house will also be a lot more comfortable too.
- Hang candy and other edible goodies on the tree the night before Christmas: Sweet treats are just as appealing to mice and rats as they are to humans. By minimizing the amount of time these goodies are hanging on the tree, the less likely they are to attract pests and the problems they bring with them.
- Inspect the tree occasionally: Check the tree every so often for signs of animal life. Suspicious clues are animal droppings, wet spots on or around the tree, unpleasant odors, and changes in the texture or color of the leaves.