Insects don't go away in winter – in fact, many of them just like to hang out indoors with us.
Sometimes we even unwittingly bring them in ourselves -- as in the case of this Florida woman who learned the hard way that bugs can hitch a ride on your Christmas tree!
Some insects go after your food, some attack the structure of your home, some become a food supply for spiders, some settle down under cover for a long winter's nap… and some are simply annoying.
Use these preventive pest control measures throughout winter to make sure your living space is free of creepy-crawlies.
1. Shut the door on pests.
If you didn’t get to it before the cold weather set in, on a milder day it would be a good idea to:
- Caulk or fill all cracks or crevices in the home’s structure, including doors, windows, siding, eaves, and around vents.
- Replace worn weather stripping.
- Make sure fitted screens are on all windows.
- Keep shrubs and trees from touching your home’s exterior walls.
- Install gutters and downspout extensions to divert water away from your home.
- Remember to close the chimney flue when the fireplace is not in use.
2. Make sure you don’t invite insects indoors yourself.
- Stack firewood off the ground, at least 15 feet away from the house. (Piles of firewood provide shelter for pests like carpenter ants, termites, parasitic wasps and bark beetles.)
- Check for pests when you bring firewood inside the house if you’re not planning to burn it immediately.
- Same goes for the Christmas tree -- whether it's a fresh tree from a farm, or a fake one that's been sitting in a box for a year. Check it for pest insects (or egg sacs that could hatch later).
- Wash all produce in case some insects or spiders hitched a ride inside.
- Practice good sanitation and food storage.
- Keep a tidy home – regularly dust for cobwebs in corners and crannies.
- Check shoes that aren’t used frequently – spiders like to hide in them.
- Put your dry pantry goods in sealed, airtight containers.
- Take trash out regularly.
3. Set traps to prevent specific indoor pest problems:
Named for the way they hibernate or “cluster” in attics, cluster flies show up in homes from late fall through early spring. They become active on warm days, crawling out of wall voids and attics in an attempt to go back outside. They do not reproduce inside the home, nor do they lay eggs in human food.
To control cluster flies preventively: Use RESCUE! Indoor Fly TrapStik® near windows that get sun.
Spiders seek shelter during cold months, preferring dark corners, crevices, and infrequently-used spaces in your home.
To control spiders preventively: Place RESCUE! Spider Traps along baseboards, behind toilets, under utility sinks – anywhere spiders like to travel.
Pantry moths (and clothes moths as well) are year-round pests, even though the problem increases the summer or warmer seasons. During the winter, their life cycle might slow down a little bit, but they never stop reproducing.
To control pantry moths preventively: Place RESCUE! Pantry & Birdseed Moth Traps near the dry foods items in your pantry.