People think pests are just a spring and summer thing, they don’t have to do any winter pest prevention. They think that, once Portland gets a little colder, they’re free from worrying about critters. But where do you think pests go in those winter months, Bermuda?!

mouse in a small bucket

No – winter is the time when bugs and rodents set up shop and get all snug and cuddly in the confines of your home. Bugs and rodents, like humans, typically don’t love being in the cold. So they find a warm place (with an abundant food source) to bunk up for the winter.

We’ll give you tips on how to keep your home pest-free during those winter months, because the preparation starts as early as autumn.

Common winter pests in Portland and Vancouver

To know how to defend your home, you first must know what you’re up against. Here’s what you’ll see crawling around the fall and winter months in the Pacific Northwest:

  • Mice and Rats: ’Twas The Night Before Christmas’ (officially “A Visit From St. Nicholas”) did not mention the mouse in vain: the mouse and rat are amongst the most common winter pests.
  • Cockroaches: Although cockroaches are quite the warriors of the wild—they can easily live in all seasons—they are still amongst a common invader during the colder months.
  • Meal moths: Otherwise known as “the pantry moth”, these critters are known to raid kitchens. You can tell they’re around by seeing small worms/larvae or webbing in cardboard food boxes (they lay their eggs in cracks and crevices).
  • Sugar ants: Everyone in the Pacific Northwest has had a sugar ant problem at one point, and it is possible to win this war. However, you can expect them not just in the summer but in the winter months too.
  • Carpenter ants: Larger than sugar ants, the carpenter ant makes its presence known by leaving a pile of sawdust (this means they’ve begun chewing on your home).

How to prevent your home from winter infestation

  • Seal all cracks and potential entryways to your home. This requires a thorough inspection – a mouse can slip through a hole the size of a dime; other pests can get through much smaller spaces. You can watch this video for instructions on how to do this properly.
  • Keep your firewood far from your home. We’d recommend storing it at least 20 feet away. You can also store it at an elevated height (18 inches, ideally) to keep them from nesting inside.
  • Remove clutter and storage items. This is a common hiding place for rodents. Keep storage areas—like sheds and garages—clean and well-organized.
  • Get your plumbing fixed. You might not think it, but plumbing issues—such as leaking pipes and clogged drains—are actually potential sources for a cockroach and ant infestation; they are attracted to the moisture. Fall is the best time to get these squared away.
  • Replace your weatherstripping. Beyond keeping out pests, this is also a great way to better insulate your home and save on your energy bills. Here are some tips for doing this.
  • Line your home with door sweeps. Door sweeps are a simple and effective way to seal an often overlooked gap in your home.

Lastly, if you want to ensure complete protection for your home, you can call one of our technicians. We can inspect your home and find all potential entryways, as well as treatment options if pests have already made their way in.

After all, the last thing you want to see is a mouse scurry along during your Christmas Dinner. Call the Bug Man at (503) 284-6269 for pest control treatment in Portland and Vancouver.

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