Winter Preparation Pest Control Checklist

Winter is here and everyone is heading into the house for warmth and delicious meals, even the bugs and rodents in your area.

Before you settle down for a cup of hot cocoa and a great movie, take the time to secure your house against uninvited squatters that will enter your house to eat your food and generally make everyone uncomfortable.


  • Put chicken wire around your deck, patio, or porch. The chicken wire will prevent rodents from hiding under your porch for the winter.
  • Don’t vent your clothes dryer in a hidden space. A dryer vent under your porch, patio, or deck is a warm tunnel for mice and rats to camp out.
  • Have the walls treated by a professional for insects. A chemical treatment will keep insects from climbing the walls and getting into your home.
  • Put chicken wire onto your downspouts. Rodents will attempt to crawl into them to hide from cold, wind, and snow.
  • Keep woodpiles off the ground and away from the house. Woodpiles are a termite and ant superhighway into your house.
  • Put your trash into sealed containers, particularly metal ones. Lunch is hard to find under the snow, but not in your garbage cans.
  • Install gutters around your house to keep moisture out. Insects, like termites, require moisture to survive and thrive.


  • Don’t leave food out. Even pet food is a great snack for insects and rodents. Leaving it out is like setting out an all-you-can-eat Las Vegas buffet.
  • Store everything in plastic containers, including paper and fabric. Anything in your house can be food or a nest for rodents or insects.
  • Work with a pro to spray your house and set out traps. A professional exterminator can advise what to do and will help you do it.
  • Seal cracks and holes in your walls. Using some simple silicon caulk, you can keep most creatures out of your house.
  • Check wires for gnaw marks or missing insulation. Rodents will gnaw on almost everything. Those exposed wires can cause a fire later.
  • Replace missing mortar and weatherstripping on your home. Those tiny pathways are ideal for bugs and rodents.
  • Look for feces and listen for gnawing sounds. These are the clearest evidence that you have unwanted house guests (no, not your in-laws).

Keeping your house protected and going through this checklist is the best way to have a quiet and happy winter. Now, about those in-laws… you’re on your own there!