Pest control is a task done year round and winter is no exception. Though mosquitoes and other flying insects seem to disappear, you still need to protect your home against rodents and other overwintering pests. Our homes often serve as shelter for more creatures than ourselves, especially during winter. So in this blog, we’ll go over some simple winter pest control tips you can use to protect your home from both insect and rodent invasions.
The first tip is simple but surprisingly effective. Clean up inside and around your home. And this doesn’t mean just vacuum your carpet and rake the lawn. When fall and winter arrives, rodents and insects will be looking for stable sources of shelter, food and water. Rodents have a very strong sense of smell, and they can use it to find food from far distances. Even cockroaches and flies can detect food that’s been left out, or even worse, food that’s rotting and giving off a strong odour.
First, look around your kitchen and other food storage areas and know any traces of leftover food, crumbs, spills or rotting organic matter. Inspect plumbing for any leaks and know any other traces of water build-up. Once you’ve inspected the kitchen and anywhere else food is kept, proceed to inspect other parts of your home, like the bathroom, mud room, basement or attic. Note down any sites of clutter and any entry points pests can use to gain access to your home, like door openings, broken screens, or any other cracks and crevices or wall voids. Once you’ve finished a thorough inspection, you’ll need to address the sites you’ve found properly.
Seal leftover food in airtight containers. Wipe away any food crumbs or residue. Throw out rotting food and garbage in sealed trash cans, repair any leaks and eliminate excess moisture. Clean countertops tables, appliances and other surfaces to remove any grime and buildup. Organise storage areas.
Pick up clutter around the house and make sure containers are elevated off the floor. Outdoors, be sure to rake your lawn trim back overhanging tree branches, pick up any yard debris and move lumber piles away from your home. By cleaning in and around your home, you eliminate a big reason why pests would invade in the first place food and water. Additionally, you’ve also gotten rid of potential hiding spots by cleaning up clutter and organising your storage space.
The next tip is essential for long term pest control. To keep pests from approaching your home, apply broad, use residual pesticides and set traps to treat any current pest problems and stop future ones from breaking out. Before starting any treatment, be sure to also wear your personal protective equipment, or PPE, and remember to keep all people and pets off the treated areas until dry. To stop overwintering insects from invading your property, you’ll want to use aerosols like FiPro and Pyrid along with residual insecticides like Reclaim It and defence dust. These products are great for preventing pests and you can also use them to control active infestations as well.
You can call a professional pest control service in the winter season. Although many pests may become less active or even hibernate during the winter, some pests, such as rodents and cockroaches, can still be active and cause problems in homes during this time. In fact, some pests may even seek refuge indoors in search of warmth and food, making winter pest control services important. Professional pest control services have the expertise and equipment to identify and treat pests throughout the year, including in the winter season.
To treat cracks and crevices and wall voids, use FiPro Aerosol. FiPro is a foaming aerosol insecticide that’s ideal for controlling ants, termites, stink, bugs, beetles and other wall infesting insects. Fippro is also a nonrepellant insecticide, which means that after application, a pest will be unable to detect the pesticide as they walk through it. Not only that, FiPro is systemic and offers a unique secondary effect where any pest that comes into contact with the product will unknowingly transfer it to the rest of the colony. So it’s great to prevent and control insects around the home or structure.
To use FiPro, shake the can thoroughly, then push the included application straw into the nozzle and you’re ready to apply. Spray along the lengths of cracks and crevices and allow the foam to expand. After application, hold the can in place for about 8 seconds to allow the product in the straw to dispense into the treatment area. Fitpro has a long lasting residual and will protect treated areas from overwintering pests, but we recommend you make followup applications every 30 days for total protection. If you’re currently dealing with an active infestation, you can use Pyrit Aerosol.
Pyrite is an insecticide aerosol that’s used to treat many insects like mosquitoes, wasps or bedbugs. It’s great to use in tight cracks and crevices where overnching pets may be hiding for a quick elimination. This product is made with Pyrethrins, a botanical insecticide, so it’s safe to use in more sensitive areas, though you should still keep people and pets away from the treated areas until the vapours have dispersed. To use Pirate as a crack and crevice treatment, just remove the white applicator, attach the provided red applicator and make sure the straw is firmly affixed in the spout. Shake the can and spray along the lengths of any cracks or crevices where over entering pests may be hiding.
When treating cracks and crevices, you just want to spray in quick bursts, usually about 1 second of spray per foot. Pirate does not leave a residual, but it’s an excellent contact spray with a powerful knockdown and a quick kill. Next. Apply. Reclaim it.
Reclaim It is a liquid insecticide concentrate that’s labelled to control and repel over 70 pests. Use reclaim it as a barrier spray. We recommend you use a rate of one fluid ounce of Reclaim It per one gallon of water. This will treat about 1000 treatment area. We also recommend you use a hand pump sprayer due to its ease of use and versatility.
To use a hand pump sprayer, open the sprayer, add half a gallon of water and add your measured amount of Reclaim It. Add the remaining half gallon, close the sprayer and shake to ensure an even distribution. Pump your sprayer a few times to produce a low pressure spray. Use a coarse low pressure fan setting and make a barrier treatment around the exterior entry points of your home. Be sure to spray around doors, windows, the garage door, voids in the wall, utility penetrations, including light fixtures and other cracks and crevices overwintering insects can use to invade your home or hide in.
Then spray around the perimeter of your home by spraying 3ft up the structure and 3ft out. Be careful not to overapply your product to spots that you’ve already treated. By treating the entry points and your structure’s perimeter, you’ll stop overwintering pests from seeking shelter in your home under regular conditions. Reclaim it’s residual can last up to 90 days, protecting your home through winter all the way to spring. Finally, use defence dust to treat hard to reach spaces in voids, cracks and crevices.
Defence dust is a dry, water resistant insecticidal dust that can be applied to stop many pests from invading structures or seeking shelter. Like FiPro, this product is used to prevent insects from harbouring in tight spaces. However, defence dust is dry, allowing it to be used around sensitive areas like behind electrical plates or underneath appliances and baseboards. If left undisturbed, the dust can remain effective for up to eight months. To use defence dust, you’ll need a handheld duster with a long, narrow spout to treat tight cracks and crevices.
Fill the duster about halfway with dust, leaving plenty of room for air circulation. Hold the duster with a cavity toward the bottom, shake and squeeze the duster to apply the product. You can apply defence dust indoors in cracks and crevices where you suspect pest activity. Be sure to treat along baseboards, behind electrical plates, underneath appliances and in the attic.
In addition to insecticides, there are also traps and rodenicides you can use to stop rodent activity. To stop rats and mice from invading your home, you can use snap traps, glue traps and bait blocks. Continue to wear your PPE, but gloves are especially important so you don’t leave human scent on the traps that rodents will avoid. Set traps around common entry points around the interior of the perimeter. We recommend you use a combination of easy set snap traps and pro glue trays for quick placement.
To set up an easy set snap trap, bait the trap’s trigger plate and simply pull back on the upright bar until the trap locks in place. When set properly, any rodent that triggers the trap will be killed instantly. To set up pro glue trays, simply remove the trays from the package, pull the trays apart and they’re ready to place. Additionally, you can also use pro glue boards in place of, or along with the glue trays. These boards can be folded into a box shape, creating an environment that encourages small house mice to travel through.
To set up the pro glue boards, simply peel off the wax paper to expose the glue. From there, you can fold the trap along the perforated lines to create a box or leave it flat. The Pro glue board is excellent for controlling house mice and insects, but larger rodents may be strong enough to break free from the glue. Place your traps around common entry points or where rodents will travel, like around garage doors, around plumbing, or underneath or behind furniture or clutter. Traps are great for monitoring pest activity because you can see exactly which pests you caught and then take further steps if activity increases.
Be sure to set the traps out of the reach of children or pets. If you’re currently dealing with a rodent infestation, you can start rodent control with Eradication rodent bait. Eradication is a powerful rodenicide that’s peanut butter scented. It’s essentially food for targeted rodents. The bait blocks contain diphasinone, a bloodstaining chemical that will kill rodents within a few days.
When using Eradication, it’s important to place it within a tamperproof bait station. A bait station houses rodenicide bait blocks and provides rats and mice with favorable conditions to consume the bait for safety. It’s designed with a tamper resistant lid that requires a key to open. This will prevent children and pets from getting to the bait inside. Just rig a few bait stations with your bait blocks and set them outside along your home or fence perimeter.
Rodents travel long walls, so be sure to set your stations entryways against the foundation or fence so rats and mice have an easier time getting in. Be sure to set your stations at least eight to 10ft apart for better efficiency. Rodents that eat the bait will travel back to their nests and die within several days.
With your home treated, move on to the next tip exclusion and Integrated Pest Management, or IPM. This will ensure that pests can’t infest your home or structure, nor will they even have the opportunity to do so. First, address the entry points around your home or structure’s exterior that you noted during inspection. Seal tight cracks and crevices with caulk, and larger voids will need to be stuffed with copper mesh. Stuffed copper mesh is a durable, sturdy, moisture resistant mesh material used to keep pests, especially rodents, outside of structures.
The mesh itself is durable enough to wear rodents cannot chew through it. Be sure to seal all openings from the ground to the roof to stop all insects and rodents from evading your home. Repair any broken door and window screens you may have found, as well as repair their seals. If necessary, you may need to install screens over your vents. Next, Utilise IPM strategies to make your property less conducive for pests.
Trim back vegetation away from your structure, including any overhanging branches from nearby trees if you haven’t already. Insects and rodents can use overgrowth to gain access to additional entry points around your structure. Continue to rake, dethatch and aerate your lawn to encourage air circulation. This will encourage drainage and stop standing water from forming in your lawn. All animals and insects need water, so regulating your lawn’s moisture will encourage pests to move elsewhere.
Finally, be sure to keep up with regular pesticide treatments and replace traps when needed. Use Pirate as necessary and make reapplications of FiPro once every 30 days. Check your bait stations and rodent traps once every few days. If rodents are consuming the bait, replenish as necessary until the activity stops. Snap and glue traps should be moved if you’ve caught nothing and you suspect active rodents.
Despite the drop in activity, winter still has plenty of pest control that needs to be done in order to protect your home from insects and rodents. With these professional tips and products, you can maintain a pest free home throughout the year.