Protect your home against pests in colder months


November 24, 2021

Photo: Anna-av/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Photo: Anna-av/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

When the temperature drops, many homeowners may be unaware that their warm homes are being shared with some unsuspected pests. You and your team could be the heroes they need to enjoy a pest-free winter, just by sharing a few recommendations.

According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), Indianmeal moths, ants, mice, spiders and termites may all be nesting inside homes and other structures.

During the colder months, pests invade an estimated 21 million homes every year because their food sources are less accessible and they cannot adapt to the colder weather.

More than just a nuisance, these household pests can also trigger allergies and asthma attacks, spread diseases, transmit bacteria and contaminate food, according to the NPMA. The pests can also compromise the value of a home by gnawing through electrical wires that can create fire hazards as well as chewing through support beams and drywall, risking structural stability.

Pests find ways into homes by being on items being brought in, such as firewood, packages and even pets. They also gain entry through small cracks and crevices in the structure’s interior. However, there are many ways homeowners can prevent these unwanted pests through effective pest proofing measures.

Here are some tips from the NPMA you can pass along to customers — and potential customers — to keep pests out of their structures:

  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens.
  • Screen vents and openings to chimneys.
  • Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter the home, using caulk and/or steel wool.
  • Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly.
  • Keep attics, basements and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  • Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  • Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains that provide the perfect breeding site for pests.
  • Inspect items such as boxes, grocery bags and other packages brought into the home.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep shrubbery trimmed and cut back from the house.
  • If you suspect a pest infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the pest problem.

Do you have other winterizing recommendations you give to homeowners and business owners that are not listed here? Comment below or send us an email at


About the Author

Ellen Wagner is a former digital editor for PMP magazine.

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  1. Michael D says:

    Kritter caps or steel wool in the corner posts/receiving channels of home !