Rodent proof your home before the cold weather settles in

(BPT) – It is that time of year again: time to wage war against the pests seeking entry into your home. So check for small openings around the outside of your house, trim bushes and vegetation, and do any other small repairs, because when temperatures drop, pests start looking for ways inside.

“As the weather cools, rodents and other pests move inside,” says Kim Kelley-Tunis, technical services director at Orkin. “Rats, mice and insect pests, such as cluster flies, Asian ladybugs and boxelder bugs, along with a few other regional pests like stink bugs and kudzu bugs, migrate toward homes, looking for warmth.”

Mice can fit through an opening the size of a dime, so it is important to fix any cracks in and under siding, doors and windows. Inside your home, these animals can go unnoticed, set up a nest and begin reproducing. A single female can have up to eight pups per litter and four to five litters per year.

Cluster flies, Asian ladybugs, boxelder bugs and regional insect pests can be found inside wall voids and attics. They are more frequently found congregating on sun-facing areas like south- or southeast-facing walls.

“It is extremely important to be proactive in protecting your home now for the upcoming winter and spring months,” says Kelley-Tunis. “As the temperatures warm in the early spring, many of these insects and rodents will emerge from their hiding spaces in search of a way out of your house, often congregating around windows and lights within the home.”

As you prepare your home for winter by covering the air conditioner, winterizing hoses and checking your roof for leaks, the experts at Orkin recommend you also do the following:

* Make sure all holes in mesh screens are repaired.

* Replace door sweeps and ensure that doors and windows close tightly, without any small openings.

* Trim excess bushes and vegetation around the home.

* Make sure attics and wall voids are insulated.

* Clean out gutters and install gutter guards to help prevent leaves and debris from accumulating.

For more tips on how to help protect your home from rodents and other fall pests, visit

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