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How to defend your home against the critter invasion

vipHomeLink-rodent-cracks Photo by Ryan Stone on Unsplash

Winter brings guests to your home for the holidays, but some—like rodents, spiders, and other small invaders—you want to keep out. Here's how.

We've all been there—woken up in the middle of the night with scampering across the floor or scratching in your walls. Mice, rats, and even squirrels can make their way inside your warm home, on top of the usual insects and spiders. Rather than evicting your unwanted visitors this holiday season, prevent them from ever entering your home by completing the following simple maintenance. 

Seal up a crack, keep critters off your back 

Don't give the little critters a way in. Visually inspect your sliding or bricks for gaps and cracks. Mice, spiders, and insects use these areas as entry ways into your home. Use expanding caulk to fill up the small areas where wires and pipes enter your home. If you discover a hole, wad copper mesh into the opening and then finish sealing off the area with expanding foam.

Complete a screen test 

Holes in your door or window screens are another easy entry point for invaders. If you find a small tear in your screen, buy a DIY screen repair kit. Then cut the screen patch a bit bigger than the tear and place it over the damaged area. If the patch has a heat-activated adhesive, use a hair dryer to bond the patch to the screen. If the tear is too big for a patch, replace the entire screen.

Yet another place with space—weather-stripping 

We've discussed how to replace weatherstripping, and doing so keeps your home warm and your utility bill low(er). It also helps to prevent little critters from wiggling their way into your home (and your heart, leading to unfortunate situations when you have to evict them).

The bugs are coming from inside the firewood 

Seriously, they might be. Termites and carpenter ants can live inside your logs, so when you store the firewood inside your house, you're helping the enemy to infiltrate your homestead. Instead, keep the firewood away from your home on concrete or asphalt, elevated on treated boards, and with a waterproof tarp to keep the wood dry.

The warm and springtime fresh entrance 

Your dryer vent is practically a neon sign indicating, "Enter here!" to vermin. To deter unwanted guests, dryer vents have dampers, which allow air to flow out and keep critters from getting in. They also prevent cold drafts from entering your home, so it's a win-win! But if your damper's pest guard is damaged or missing, make sure to get another super quick to prevent pest entry.

Moisture is bad – but not for the reason you think 

While most people hate hearing the word "moist," it should be because moist, damp wood is a magnet for insects. Rake moisture-rich soil away from your windows (if they're near the ground), door frames, and any other wood on your house. Also, turn your mulch over periodically to allow it to dry.

To trim or not to trim

Pruning or trimming your trees helps to keep your roof healthy, but it also prevents limbs from being used as a bridge for critters. Without the extra help, the little guys really have to work to make your home their winter residence.

Close your bed-and-breakfast for pests 

When you leave open pet food in your garage or around the house, you're practically inviting pests into home. Invest in a sealable pet food container to keep the food fresh and critter-free. Also, keep the container inside the main area of your house and away from windows and exits, where critters may be lured inside by the smell.

Keeping your home pest-free can be difficult, but with vipHomeLink, it doesn't have to be. Find out how to keep mosquitoes, ants, and other pests away - sometimes even with natural remedies - in our vipTIPS, available exclusively to members. Not a member? Subscribe today with a risk-free, 90-day trial on us.

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