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Winter Pest-Proofing

by Jennifer Snyder — last modified Nov 21, 2013 03:30 PM
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Out of sight, but not out of mind… While you may see fewer pests during fall and winter, it is a perfect time of year to exclude their access to the indoors.

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Winter pest-proofing might take the form of checking window screens to be sure they are in place and in good repair.  Ants often nest behind backsplashes and wall bases, and emerge in large numbers to forage, so inspect for gaps above and below these features in ant-prone areas and seal them.  Make sure to use an elastomeric sealant; caulking agents do not expand and contract, and may break down sooner.  

Mice breed and invade structures year-round, especially when the weather turns cold.  Mice need only a ¼” gap to squeeze under a door, so inspect exterior doors for gaps and install door sweeps or weather stripping as the situation requires.  Sealing gaps around pipes is also crucial, as mice and other pests often use this as an entry point from outside to indoors, move between rooms via the wall chase and emerge from gaps around sink pipes.  

For more information about how to exclude pests, visit the IPM Technical Resource Center’s “Exclusion” page.