10 Steps to Rodent-Proof Your Home

Pest control technician inspecting home. Pioneer Pest Management serving Portland OR and Vancouver WA talks about 10 ways to rodent-proof your home.

Pest control technician inspecting home. Pioneer Pest Management serving Portland OR and Vancouver WA talks about 10 ways to rodent-proof your home.

Having a rodent infestation is no fun. Rodents can spread disease, contaminate food, and damage your home and your belongings. And once you have a rodent infestation, it can be quite difficult to eliminate. So it’s best to prevent an infestation before it happens.

Below are 10 steps you can take to rodent-proof your home and help prevent a rodent infestation. You’ll first want to begin by walking around the perimeter of your home. Take note of any structural deficiencies, scratch marks or gnaw marks.

1.Ensure Entry Points are Properly Sealed

Seal windows and doors, by applying weather stripping to them. Rodents can squeeze underneath your garage door, so ensure the seal is in great shape. To add extra protection, you can apply a rodent guard to the seal. The metal device helps keep rodents from chewing through any weather stripping you have applied to your garage door.

2. Seal Small Gaps & Cracks

Since rodents can enter your home through the smallest of holes, you’ll want to apply silicone-based caulk around spigots, dryer vents, near utility lines, and anywhere there are openings that lead into your home from the outside. And don’t forget chimneys. You can apply a chimney cap to your chimney to help prevent rodents (as well as birds and bats) from entering.

3. Seal Your Crawl Space

If you have a crawlspace, you’ll want to make sure all vent holes are properly covered. This will help prevent rodents from gaining access to your home through the crawlspace. If you notice gnaw marks on vent covers, you may want to replace the covers with new ones.

4. Don’t Feed Birds or Squirrels

Rodents love seeds and if you have a feeder in your yard, it may potentially attract rodents. If you must have a feeder, we recommend you keep it away from your home.

5. Store Dry Food in Airtight Containers

It’s not uncommon for rodents to make their way into sugar, flour or other foods kept in paper bags or cardboard cartons. So keep these dry food products in tightly-sealed containers. If you have pets, transfer and store their dry food into airtight containers.

6. Keep Trash Cans Sealed

Trash cans placed near your home or garage will attract rodents and other wildlife pests including raccoons. Keep tight-fitting lids on trash bins and clean out regularly. Store bins outdoors away from home to deter rodents.

7. Pick Up Fallen Fruit

If you have fruit trees on your property, make sure to pick up any fallen fruit and throw it away. Rodents are known to eat anything, but they especially love fruit!

8. Keep Vegetation Under Control

Don’t allow shrubs, trees, or grass to grow out of control. Rats and mice use vegetation as harborages as they look for entry holes in your home’s foundation or walls. Keep tree branches trimmed back from roofline and keep shrubbery trimmed back away from home.

9. Clean Up Debris

In addition to vegetation, rodents also favor woodpiles, rock piles, straw piles, and abandoned equipment. Clean up any debris on your property, and store firewood at least 20 feet away from your home, stacked at least 2 feet off the ground.

10. Maintain Cleanliness

Water and food scraps are inviting to rodents and other pests. Practice good housekeeping by keeping your counters and floors clean. If you have pets, never leave their uneaten food out, even if they are an outdoor pet.

Professional Rodent Removal

By taking these preventive measures, you can rodent-proof your home in just a few hours. If you’ve tried these steps or you already have a rodent infestation, you’ll want to seek the advice of a qualified pest management company. They have the skills and tools to properly remove a rodent issue for good.

6 Home Remedies That Repel Rodents

Bottle of peppermint oil. Pioneer Pest Management talks about 6 home remedies repel rodents
6 Home Remedies to Repel Rodents

If you’ve ever dealt with rats or mice in your home, you know how unnerving it can be. Rodents may be a common pest all year long, but did you know infestations spike during the fall? Fortunately, there are home remedies that repel rodents naturally. Here are 6 home remedies to repel rodents:

Plants

Plants like lavender, elderberry, daffodils, and any type of mint plants are known to repel mice. You could plant some around your home or keep them in pots inside your home. Bay leaves and Oak leaves have also been known to deter rodents. You can leave some around your home or put some in sachets and leave them in closets and drawers. This method not only makes your home look and smell nice, but it can help deter rodents.

Ammonia and Vinegar Spray

Another natural rat and mouse repellent is ammonia. These rodents hate the smell of ammonia because it’s similar to a predator’s urine. Fill a spray bottle with 1 cup ammonia and 1 cup vinegar, then mix it. Spray it where you often see rodent activity. Alternatively, you could spray or dip cotton balls with the solution and leave it in these areas, they’ll just need to be replaced after two weeks.

Essential Oils

This method not only helps deter rodents but it also makes your home smell nice in the process. Essential oils that may be helpful in repelling rats and mice include peppermint oil, lemon oil, citronella oil, and eucalyptus oil. You can make an essential oil spray by mixing 2 teaspoons of oil with 1 cup of water or rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. Then spray it anywhere you see traces of rodents. Like the ammonia spray, you can also use cotton balls. If you choose the spray method, you’ll want to reapply in about a week and if you use cotton balls, replace them after two weeks.

Fill in Holes and Use Barricades

If you notice cracks or holes that a mouse or rat may use to gain access into your home, fill them in with caulk. You can also fill in larger gaps with a mix of caulk and steel wool. Steel wool is a harder material to chew through for these rodents.

Rat and Mouse Traps

If you aren’t seeing success with your natural rodent repellants, you may need to resort to mouse and rat traps. There are traditional snap traps, glue traps, and the more humane option, catch-and-release traps. You’ll want to first identify which type of rodent you’re dealing as a mousetrap is too small for a rat.

If you are dealing with a much bigger rodent infestation, it may be time to call in the experts. Pioneer Pest Management has been providing pest control services to the Portland metro area since 2001 and we provide pest control solutions for all types of pests. So contact us today for fast, effective, and affordable pest control services.

Rodent Season is Coming: 10 Tips to Keep Rodents Away This Winter

Pioneer Pest offers tips homeowners can use to keep rodents away this winter.

We know it’s early to start preparing for fall, but when it comes to rodents, now is a perfect time. Because as soon as the temperature drops, rodents like mice, roof rats, and Norway rats will start getting ready to hunker down for winter.

When looking for a place to live, rodents will look for access to nest-building materials, a dependable food source, and somewhere that’s warm and safe. Unfortunately, this can sometimes include our homes. So what can you do to prevent an infestation? Here are 10 tips you can do now to keep rodents away this winter.

  1. Seal exterior doors: repair any damaged doors and install door sweeps to the bottom. Roof rats, Norway rats, and mice can squeeze easily into small spaces like these. Keep in mind your garage doors too.
  2. Add screens to vents and chimneys: installing mesh to these areas will prevent them from gaining access to the inside of your home. Always verify your local building code requirements before installing screening over any vent or chimney. Not only can rodents squeeze into small spaces, but they can also scale siding and chimneys.
  3. Seal potential entry points: you can use caulk/spray foam and steel wool to seal holes rodents may use, but many times they will chew right through it. Sealing entry points should be done using proper materials such as metal flashing or rodent excluder in conjunction with caulking or spray foam.
  4. Seal basement and windows: replace any old weather stripping or mortar around your basement foundation, windows, and window sills.
  5. Seal pipes: fix, cap or replace any broken sewer, drain or exhaust pipes you have. Rodents may use these pipes to get inside your home. Rats are great swimmers too.
  6. Properly store food and maintain cleanliness: leaving food out can cause a serious infestation. Store food in airtight containers and regularly throw out your garbage.
  7. Ventilate: keep the crawlspaces, basements, and attics of your home dry and well ventilated.
  8. Move firewood: if you have stored firewood, keep the pile at least 20 feet away from your home. Even better if you can keep the wood elevated.
  9. Inspect vehicles: regularly check under the hood of your vehicles and look for signs a rodent has been there. Things like gnawed wires, rodent nests, and rat or mouse droppings — which are typically dark in color and shaped similar to a piece of rice.
  10. Inspect Items: Another thing you may want to inspect are packages, bags, and anything else you are bringing into your home, especially if they’ve been outside for quite some time.

Experts in Rodent Removal

If you’ve tried these tips and are still not seeing success. It may be time to contact a professional. At Pioneer Pest Management, our expert certified technicians will identify entry points and seal them off, keeping those rodents out for good. So contact Pioneer Pest Management today for your rodent removal.

Are Your Fruit Trees Attracting Rodents?

Pioneer Pest Management reveals ways to keep roof rats and Norway rats from fruit trees.

It’s no secret rodents, like mice and rats, will eat anything. But they love fruit! They are drawn to the smell and sweetness of fruit which is why fruit trees act as magnets to these small creatures. This article will further discuss how to keep rodents away from your fruit trees, further preventing an infestation on your property.

Keeping Roof Rats Away from Fruit Trees

Below are a few actions homeowners can take to help prevent roof rats, Norway rats, and mice from destroying fruit trees and invading your yard. and invading your yard.

Regular Pruning and Trimming

Low-hanging branches that partially cover the base of the tree give rodents easy access to your trees, while inadvertently covering them. Trim these drooping branches so they aren’t touching the ground. This will deter Norway rats from approaching your trees.

Pick Fallen Fruit Immediately

When rats and mice are looking for a home, they look for nest-building materials, and food. Trees and fruit provide just that. And if you have ripened fruit littered across your property, rodents will not only be attracted to it, they’ll return for more. So keep an eye on your fruit trees and pick up all fallen fruit immediately. It’s also important to note, if the fruit is thrown in the trash, make sure the trash container is sealed shut so rodents don’t then target your trash.

Strategically Space the Trees

Roof rats will scurry along branches that touch together, allowing them to run from tree to tree. If you haven’t planted your trees yet, keep enough space between them. In fact, depending on the type, fruit trees need about 15 to 30 feet between them. If your trees are already planted, you may consider uprooting one and relocating it. Keep in mind not to plant trees too close to your home, this will give roof rats access to it.

Rat Guards on the Trunks

Rats are highly-skilled climbers. They’re known to scale gutters and siding among other fixtures. Adding a rat guard at the base of your trees will keep them from climbing them. This consists of using sturdy plastic or sheets of metal wrapped around the trunk of your fruit trees.

Rodent Control for Your Property

If you’ve tried these methods or you suspect you have a rodent infestation, you may want to consider calling a professional. At Pioneer Pest Management, our highly-skilled exterminators will eliminate your rodent infestation for good. So contact us today!

5 Springtime Pests in the Pacific Northwest

Pioneer Pest Management answers common questions about top 5 springtime pests in the Pacific NW, and how to prevent them in Portland OR and Vancouver WA.

As the rain begins to slow and spring emerges, pests begin to come out as well! Here at Pioneer Pest Management, we believe that preparation is a great way to prevent seasonal pests. We’d like to help you prepare for the 5 springtime pests we see most often in the Pacific NW.

  Boxelder Bugs

  • These sun-loving nuisances can overwhelm houses in spring.
  • Boxelder bugs have most likely crawled into a home in fall, preparing for winter, and are now emerging as the weather begins to warm up.
  • They will congregate on sun-warmed walls and surfaces.

There is good news: box elder bugs don’t breed inside, they don’t eat human food sources or personal belongings, they don’t lay eggs inside, and they don’t bite. Boxelder bugs do have a tendency to be annoying, as they fly around inside trying to get out. Their feces can also stain curtains and upholstery.

The best way to get rid of boxelder bugs is to vacuum them up. Once you’ve eliminated them inside, seal exterior surfaces and interior holes. If you don’t seal your home properly, the problem will repeat itself next fall and spring.

Odorous House Ants

  • Infamous for their odor when crushed, these ants are also known as “sugar ants”, because of their attraction to sugary substances.
  • Odorous ants use a complicated network of pheromones to establish trails, both inside and outside of your home.
  • These pheromones tell the ants where resources, possible danger, and their nest can be found.
  • While they can be found inside homes in any season, spring seems to bring a surge of them every year.

Controlling food sources is a big part of preventing and eliminating odorous house ants. Although they prefer sugar, house ants will eat anything. Regular sweeping and mopping, as well as counter cleaning and proper food storage, can help a lot with ant control.

The key to eradicating odorous house ants is to eliminate the trails they have established. As you remove ants from walls or counters, we recommend wiping down surrounding surfaces with a mix of soap and water.

Carpenter Ants

  • These well-known ants cause a lot of destruction every year, emerging in spring and remaining active through the fall.
  • Because they remain hidden as they tunnel through wood, carpenter ants can be tricky to spot. Here are some signs you have a carpenter ant problem:
  • Sawdust piles beneath wooden structures.
  • Small holes in wooden structures, known as “kick-out” holes, where carpenter ants have kicked out sawdust produced by their tunneling.
  • Discarded wings.
  • A rustling behind walls.
  • Flying carpenter ants inside the house, especially during spring.
  • More than ten carpenter ants seen inside your home at one time.

There are two steps to take when eliminating carpenter ants: finding the “parent” nest (usually outdoors), and removing ants from within the walls. It’s important to eliminate the parent nest first, because this colony has the queen in it. Without the queen, the colony won’t be able to reproduce, and will slowly die out. Removing the parent nest and the carpenter ants within the walls ensures your infestation will be eliminated.

 Starlings

  • These birds have become well-known for their nesting habits. Starlings will nest in almost any available cavity, including eaves, vents, chimneys, and ductwork.
  • They breed from January to around June, and are notoriously loud.
  • Starlings feed on grubs in spring, and will also feed on garbage.

Controlling starlings involves a practice called “exclusion”, wherein the cavities they might nest in are sealed up. As spring begins, inspect your home for any cavities that might house a starling nest, or any holes that currently have birds in them. Consult a professional pest company that has experience with birds to remove them, and then either seal the cavity or place fine mesh over the opening, thereby excluding the starlings permanently.

    Norway Rats

  • Norway rats are larger than the black rats (roof rats) that are also common in the NW.
  • Norway rats prefer to live on the ground, either underneath houses in crawl spaces, or even in burrows underground.
  • Norway rats aren’t likely to infest your attic, but will take up residence in any ground floor space they can crawl into.

Norway rats are prolific breeders year-round, but especially in warmer months. Their population can quickly get out of control. Because these rats can burrow underground, will breed quickly, and will feed off of nearly any substance, professional rodent control is usually necessary to completely eliminate their population from your home.

Once the Norway rats are gone from your home, it’s important to fully seal any holes or cracks that would allow them to come back inside. It’s also crucial to eliminate food and water sources, including securing garbage.

Professional Help for Spring Pests

Spring is a busy time for a lot of animals and insects. At Pioneer Pest Management, we want to give you the service and tools necessary to keep these pests at bay and outside–where they belong! If you’re concerned about spring pests, give us a call. We’re happy to provide long-term, seasonal pest control!

How to Get Rid of Burrowing Rats

Getting rid of burrowing rats. | Pioneer Pest Management Norway rat solutions.When you have rodents of any kind in or around your home, it’s likely you want to get rid of them right away and by any means possible. Before extermination efforts are made, it’s important to understand precisely what kind of rodent you’re dealing with. While roof rats are certainly worrisome, Norway rats or burrowing rats are perhaps even worse in terms of size and aggression.

If you notice Norway rats in or near your house, it’s time to call a professional. The experts at Pest Management have the experience necessary to properly and safely keep rodents away from your home. We also will help you learn how to rodent-proof your home to avoid them for good! Read on to learn some of the most effective ways to get rid of burrowing rats.

Identifying Norway Rats

The burrowing rats known as Norway rats are much larger and occasionally more aggressive than the roof rat. Some of their identifying traits include:

  • They are larger than roof rats and can grow up to 8 inches long with 4-inch-long tails. Their weight can range from 12 to 16 ounces.
  • Although they are overall bigger, Norway rats have smaller eyes, ears, and tails than other rats. The best way to identify the difference between a Norway rat and a roof rat is through their tail size: The roof rat has a tail that can extend back toward its head, while the Norway rat has a tail that cannot reach its head.
  • They are covered in shaggy gray or brown hair and can have a white-gray underside.
  • Their droppings are capsule-shaped and about ¼ inch longer than those of roof rats or nearly ½ inch longer than those of house mice.

Getting Rid of Burrowing Rats

Norway rats can cause significant property damage by gnawing through just about anything, even plastic or lead pipes in the hunt for food. They are also carriers of disease, including jaundice, rat-bite fever, cowpox virus, salmonellosis, and more. Because of the dangers these burrowing rats can cause, it’s important to not only exterminate them from the home but also implement prevention methods to keep them from coming back. When you have a professional from Pioneer Pest Management rid of the rats in your home, they will also recommend some of the following prevention tips to keep Norway rats away for good:

  • Seal and secure all containers. By ensuring your garbage cans and food containers are sealed, you can help prevent rats from accessing them. Do not leave pet food of feces out for long.
  • Remove debris piles. Keeping firewood stored away and eliminating piles of debris in the yard will reduce nesting opportunities. Trim back trees that reach the house as well.
  • Eliminate sources of water. Fix any plumbing leaks, remove outdoor containers that retain water, and make sure sprinklers or spigots aren’t dripping to keep rodents away. Keep basements and crawl spaces free of standing water or moisture.
  • Block entryways. Seal up any gaps or openings around doors, windows, and chimneys. Consider investing in sturdy covers for vents that lead outside as well.

Professional Protection for your Home

If you have Norway rats in or around your home, it’s important to call a professional. Getting rid of these burrowing rats isn’t always easy, and the experts here at Pioneer Pest can help ensure the problem is completely eliminated. We understand how distressing a rodent infestation is, which is why we’re also committed to helping our customers pest-proof their home and keep rodents away for good. Give us a call today to learn how we can get rid of burrowing rats in your home!

Noises in the Attic – What’s Causing Those Scratching Sounds?

Pest proofing the attic - Pioneer Pest ManagementAny homeowner dreads hearing noises coming from their attic. If you are hearing scratching or scampering sounds overhead, you might have some guests taking up residence right above you. Attic spaces are ideal environments for rodents, who can cause a lot of damage through their gnawing and burrowing habits. It’s important to call a professional who can assess the situation for you before the infestation becomes worse and help with pest proofing your home. At Pioneer Pest Management, we can professionally and safely eliminate any pests living in and damaging your attic. Read on to learn more how to look for the signs of pests in the attic.

How do Rodents Get in the Attic?

While there are a number of pests that may access your attic, scratching sounds almost always indicate rodents such as roof rats. Although rats prefer to live in trees, they can easily move from the trees in your yard to your roof and eventually into your home for food and shelter reasons. Because they are resourceful creatures that can squeeze through the tiniest of spaces or even gnaw their way through, rats and mice can easily enter an attic. Once inside, they can quickly wreak havoc by chewing through wires that cause a fire hazard, leaving behind unhealthy droppings, and nesting in materials in the attic.

Signs of Attic Pest Infestations

Because you may not have easy access to your attic, it’s important to stay vigilant in checking for signs of pests or rodents in your home.

  • Scratching noises: This is the biggest indicator of rodents in your attic. Running, gnawing, and crawling noises can also be heard in the attic or even in the walls of your home.
  • Nighttime activity: If the noises you are hearing come at night, it is again very likely you have rodents inside the home.
  • Strange smells: If you smell droppings or excrement prior to inspecting the attic, you may need to look for other signs of pests in the attic.
  • Nests and droppings: Upon inspecting the attic, noticing nests made of leaves, sticks, and paper indicate rodents. The bigger the droppings in the space, the bigger the pest.
  • Insulation issues: Pests, rodents especially, love ripping into the insulation of your home, typically that surrounding your HVAC system. Holes in your ductwork signal pests making their way through the attic into the walls of the home.

Professional Pest Proofing Services

If you hear or notice any of the aforementioned signs of pests in the attic, it’s time to call Pioneer Pest Management. Rodents are destructive and can be dangerous, and an infestation should always be taken care of by a professional. Our removal experts will eradicate rodents quickly to keep your family and home safe. From there, we will help apply prevention methods to keep them out of your attic for good. Call us today to learn more about our pest-proofing methods!

Norway Rats vs Roof Rats

Pioneer Pest Management provides exception rodent control for Norways rats and roof rats in Portland OR and Vancouver WA.A horrible, terrible thing has happened: you’ve seen a rat! What now?

First, know that you’re not alone. Millions of Americans wake up to rats or rodents in their homes each year. Rat populations have seen a huge resurgence in the last decade, especially in urban areas along the coast, and we’re here to help! The most important step forward is identifying where the problem is coming from, and what species of rat you’re dealing with. Norway rats and roof rats are typical along the Pacific NW coast, but they are very different species of rats. Let’s take a closer look!

Average Size of Norway Rats vs Roof Rats

If you do see a rat inside your home, try to remember what it looked like. Although it may be difficult to successfully identify a rat without the proper training, there’s a general consensus when comparing Norway rats and Roof rats:

  • Norway rats are darker, larger, and heavier than roof rats. They can be up to 11 inches long, not including the tail.
  • Roof rats are lighter in color, and smaller than the Norway rat. They are typically no more than 7 inches in length, not including the tail.

There’s quite a difference in size! If that difference isn’t immediately apparent, we can move on to an identifying trait that is universally useful: habits!

Habits Matter When Comparing Norway Rats and Roof Rats

Here’s the most important thing to remember when dealing with Norway rats and roof rats: location is everything!

  • Norway rats, also known as brown rats, wharf rats, and sewer rats, love being low to the ground. They want to be in sewers, basements, garages, crawlspaces, and any low point in a structure. This is typically how they gain entry to a space–a low, dark hole that humans are a little less likely to notice.
  • Roof rats, also known as black rats or ship rats, have a pretty obvious name: they love roofs! They want to be high, whether that means crawling across tree branches that hover over a roof, or slipping into an attic. Roof rats aren’t afraid of heights–and they’re on the prowl!

How Does This Help When Controlling Rats?

The best kind of pest control takes into account the species and habits of the pest itself. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a great method of pest control, using scientific techniques to solve pest problems without overusing chemicals or ineffective control methods. Simply put: IPM identifies the pest, and uses the pest’s habits against them.

If we know that you have roof rats, we know to focus out control treatments in the attic. We’re not going to waste time trapping your basement or checking out your crawl space–we’re going to the source of the problem and solving it.

Effective Pest Control When Dealing with Norway Rats vs Roof Rats

Now that you know the basics, you’re that much closer toward solving your rat infestation. If you want further professional help with your pest control problem–including other common pests!–give Pioneer Pest Management a call. We’re always here for you!

Keeping Pests Out of Your Restaurant

Restaurant Pest Control – Keeping Pests Out of Your Restaurant

There are few things restaurateurs dread more than a pest problem. They can set in with little warning, and major infestations can require lengthy food service pest control processes. Stop problems before they start with these simple tips.

Better Food Storagerestaurant pest control tips Portland Oregon Vancouver Washington

Inspect food shipments and their containers for pests, droppings, bite marks and scratch marks before you bring them into your restaurant. Make sure your food storage containers are clean, well-sealed and neatly stacked. Food should be kept at least 6 inches away from walls, ceilings and floors. All storage areas should be clean and kept at the proper temperature. Restaurant pest control services professionals recommend doing daily storage area inspections for signs of pests.

Labeling and FIFO (First In, First Out)

All food should be labeled clearly with the day it was stored. Stick with a first in, first out policy for using foods. Use the oldest labeled products before the newest to reduce the chance of spoilage. The pungent smell of spoiled food is more likely to attract pests.

Handling Waste

All trash bins should be covered to seal them and lined to prevent residue and strong smells from building in the cans. Filled liners should be taken out to the dumpsters daily or multiple times a day, and the cans themselves should also be cleaned on a regular basis to eliminate any residue. Food service pest control companies emphasize the importance of keeping dumpster areas clean as well.

Clean Your Drains And Under Equipment

Another area our restaurant pest control services often see overlooked are drains and under equipment such as ice machines, fryers, ranges and refrigerators/freezers. Food collecting under equipment, in drains pipes and drain traps will rot, attracting pests like flies. Use a drain trap to catch organic matter before it can build up in the pipes. Clean floor drain traps and under equipment regularly.

Seal Pests Out

Blocking entry points is a key pest deterrent. All doors and windows should have well-fitted screening and weather seals. Holes, cracks and crevices around the restaurant should be caulked or otherwise sealed. Keep your doors closed as much as possible as well. If you need help identifying potential entry points, a food service pest control company can help.

Pests have a way of creeping inside even the cleanest, most well-sealed restaurants. At the first sign of a potential pest problem, it is critical to call a restaurant pest control specialist. Early action will help you reclaim your restaurant faster and with fewer treatments.

8 Pest Proofing Tips for your home this winter

How to Pest Proof Your Home

As the weather gets colder here in the Portland and Vancouver areas, people will want to spend more time indoors, and unfortunately so will common pests and rodents. Insects such as cockroaches, spiders, and beetles, and rodents like mice, rats, and squirrels will seek shelter to survive the winter, and there’s nothing more inviting than a warm cozy home.

Insects and rodents alike can introduce diseases and bacteria into your home, and can also cause a lot of damage. Understanding how to keep these pests out of your home is the first step to ensuring a comfortable, pest free winter.

8 Pest Proofing Tips to keep the bugs and rodents outamerican cockroaches pest control portland vancouver washington

Below are eight pest proofing tips to make sure the bugs and rodents stay out of your home this winter.

  1. Make sure needed ventilation points are screened up on the exterior of your home. Attic vents, foundation vents, roof soffits and other exterior entry points should be inspected to make sure they’re in good condition.
  2. Keep your homes crawl space and garage dry. Insects and rodents are attracted to places they know they can get water. Keeping these areas dry, and free from excessive humidity. This will to help not attract these unwanted pests.
  3. Seal up any cracks in siding, stucco, and piping. Using exterior grade silicon is a quick solution to stopping entry. Silicon will prevent insect entry but rodents will chew through it.
  4. Keep food preparation and storage areas clean and tidy. Leaving food and crumbs out is an invitation to pests like cockroaches, ants, and rodents. Keeping dry foods stored in airtight containers is also recommended.
  5. Inspect your homes windows and doors. Weather stripping, damaged window frames, and doors that don’t close correctly are all easy entry points to your home. Replace or repair window screens for an added level of protection.
  6. Keep landscaping and plants away from your home. Keeping trees, bushes and plants trimmed so they don’t touch your home is an easy and effective way to keep pests away. Trim tree branches back away from your roof. Don’t make it easy for rodents to access your roof.
  7. Don’t let pests hitch a ride into your home. Bringing in the holiday decorations from the garage or storage shed? Make sure pests don’t hitch a ride in on these boxes, just one spider can spawn hundreds of babies.
  8. Don’t leave pet food outside, and keep bird feeders away from your home. Rodents love any food, so leaving these items outside is an open invitation to a never ending buffet.

The above are a few ways you can protect your home from winter pests moving in. A little work will help to keep the bugs and rodents out, and your family comfortable.