It has been noted that this winter will likely see above-average precipitation amounts across much of the Midwest, including major cities such as Denver, Chicago, and Indianapolis. Many people might consider colder weather and heavy snow as a stopgap against pest presence, killing off invasive species. However, it is critical to remain vigilant against pest populations even during the worst snowstorms.
This is not only because the pests are driven indoors, both in residential and commercial properties, seeking warmth and shelter–but also because such winter storms are capable of causing structural damage, making it easier for pests to gain access. Rodents, for instance, are estimated to invade over 21 million homes nationwide, increasing risks of electrical fires as they gnaw on wires. Bats, ants, and termites also flee into homes and offices, spreading disease and damage as they do. Yet there are steps that can be taken to prevent this as much a possible.
How to Control Pests During Winter Storms
1. Inspect Siding After Strong Winds
Winds during winter storms can tear siding and shingles off a building, forming gaps where rodents and other, larger pests are able to slip inside and take shelter. Check for such damage immediately following a winter storm and have it repaired as soon as possible.
2. Clear Ice Jams from Gutters
Ice packs can build up in gutters if they’re not cleaned periodically. This ice can melt and form pools of water within the roof, attic, or inside the walls. Check gutters after winter storms and chip away ice jams as needed.
3. Keep the Thermostat On
It is recommended you keep your thermostat set to 68 degrees or higher, especially during times of extreme cold and snow storms. This will help prevent water pipes from bursting, not only causing damage to walls but also again offering pests tempting sources of liquid.
4. Inspect for Melt Leaks
Alongside gutters and burst pipes, melting snow, ice, and driving sleet can often bring water into the home. Many pests are easily discover food sources, but water is especially alluring. Termite colonies, for instance, will many times form in a moist environment. Check attics and basements for potential drip sources and ensure all areas are clear of leaks after a storm.
Has your home taken damage during a winter storm? Don’t delay in getting it repaired, as it may be exposing you to unexpected pest threats that will only grow worse as warmer weather returns.
Contact EcoShield today to learn more about how winter storms may be increasing your pest vulnerability.