As the season for rain and cold weather approaches in our Sacramento pest control region, a lot of us get to work making our homes and apartments winter-ready. But did you know that a lot of the things you do to make sure your home is warm, cozy and dry and to help keep your heating bills low also help prevent pests from moving in with you?

Many insects and other pests, such as spiders, mice and rats, instinctively start seeking warm, dry places to crawl into and shelter as the weather becomes colder and rains flood their outdoor nesting sites. Our warm, dry homes are an inviting temptation!

A mouse can enter your home through a hole the diameter of a number 2 pencil; a rat can enter through tiny openings under your eves or gaps under doorsills, spiders through a tiny crack. Here are a few tips from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help keep your home both warm and pest-free this winter:

  • Caulk windows inside and out.
  • Weather strip entry doors and/or install door sweeps if daylight is visible around the perimeter of the door.
  • Rake away all debris and edible vegetation from your home’s foundation to keep from attracting pests.
  • Inspect for and seal foundation cracks to block a potential point of entry for pests.
  • Secure crawlspace entries.
  • When insulating exposed plumbing pipes around the foundation or the crawlspace of your home, check for any points of entry where pests could enter.  Caulk small gaps and fill larger ones with steel wool to prevent mice from entering.

If your home has a fireplace, cap or screen the top of the chimney to keep out rodents and other pests.

For more information about how to keep pests out of your home, visit the EPA “Controlling Pests” Website at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/controlling/index.htm.