We may see more animals out and about during the summer months, but winter is really the time of year where we have to be extra diligent about keeping animal pests out of the house. Small animals like mice, rats, voles, squirrels and chipmunks are not only on the lookout for food sources, but also safe places to shelter. Your house can be very appealing for both reasons as the cold weather sets in.
Patch up the Holes
Take a close look around the house, and fix any holes that have cropped up over the summer and fall. Gaps in siding, broken window frames, split shingles or anything else that might create a space that a mouse could take advantage of. If the holes can’t really be fixed, at least try to cover openings with wire screening material so critters can’t squeeze their way in.
Clear Away Clutter
Most little critters aren’t too happy out in the open, and allowing piles of junk or clutter to build up around the house gives them some perfect cover. Once they are comfortable hanging around nearby, its far too easy for them to find an opening and move in permanently.
Trim Branches Away
It’s easy to focus on the ground when you are trying to protect your house, but you need to look up occasionally too. Branches from nearby trees that overhang or otherwise make contact with your house can provide perfect and nearly invisible access to the upper parts of your house for squirrels and chipmunks.
This may not be the most practical tip, depending on your local winter climate. Snow build-up around the house can be just as bad for sheltering pests as the piles of junk we already talked about. Voles are notorious for tunneling everywhere just under the surface of the snow, feeling comfortable to explore your yard and discover your house. If you can, maintain a wide band of snow-free space around your house to prevent this.
Use a Good Repellent
Even with all your precautions, clever pests can still find their way in. That’s why you should combine your outside chores with an inside repellent. An all-natural product that you can shake in hidden places like the attic or basement is perfect for deterring small animals from staying around too long. Shake-Away Animal Repellents are a good choice.
Avoid Exposed Food
One last indoor tip, don’t leave open food out. Animals have excellent senses of smell and will come exploring into your home if they smell something to eat. Keep your food safely contained in glass, metal or hard plastic containers to reduce the temptation. Even if pests are inside, they may not bother to make it permanent if there is nothing to eat.