How to Get Rid of 4 Winter Pests

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Winter pests can be particularly irritating in the fact that they are tough to get rid of and they can get inside of your home. Luckily, there are ways to eradicate your home of these pests before the winter is through.

Mice

mouse entering home through hole near pipe

It’s only natural for these rodents to seek warmth during the cold winter months, but that doesn’t mean you want them scurrying around your home. When they take up residence in your attic or even walls, there are ways to get rid of them. First, check for spots where mice may be entering your home to prevent more rodents from entering. For instance, pipes to your basement, pipes to appliances, basement foundations, and chimney or vent openings are common entry points. If you find any openings in these spots or others, use a physical barrier such as mesh screens. Steel wool and caulk can also be used to fill mouse holes found indoors.

Once you seal off any openings, work to get rid of the mice in your home with traps. Place traps strategically around the area you suspect mice to be residing in. Note that the CDC advises against using glue and live traps for mice. This is because trapped mice may become frightened and release urine, which can, in turn, spread germs and diseases.

Spiders

mint essential oil

Spiders frequently seek refuge from the cold inside the walls of our homes during the winter. With 35,000 known spider species in the world, they are typically quite harmless to humans. However, that doesn’t mean that you want them taking residence in your house. If you’re facing a spider infestation, start by vacuuming up any spiders you come across as well as their webs. This is a good method if you notice a few spiders here and there rather than a large-scale infestation.

Alternatively, use an insecticide that is safe for indoor use. Since spiders feed off of other insects, getting rid of other bugs within your home cuts off their food supply and helps to rid them from your space. Spray the insecticide around your house, taking care to get it in corners and other areas where bugs are sure to reside.

Another method of getting rid of spiders that is said to work well and that is more natural is using peppermint oil. Spiders are said to despise the smell of peppermint oil, causing them to run in the other direction. Fill a spray bottle with water and a mix of 15 to 20 drops of peppermint oil. Spray the cracks and entrances to your home with this solution to ward off spiders.

Ladybugs

ladybug infestation in corner

Although these bugs are pretty, having an infestation of them in your home is less than desirable. Typically, when ladybugs enter your home, they do so in large quantities, and it can be pretty off-putting. Ladybugs commonly enter homes in an attempt to hibernate for the winter and they can multiply by the thousands. Start by vacuuming up ladybugs and then disposing of the vacuum bag or emptying the canister outdoors afterwards.

Another way to get rid of them is by creating a light trap. You can DIY one with a big plastic jug, a lightbulb, and transparency sheets. This will attract the ladybugs, drawing them into the trap. Then, you can dispose of the trap outdoors once it's gathered many ladybugs.

Firewood Pests

firewood with bug holes

Firewood is an important item in the winter if you have a fireplace or wood burning stove. For that reason, you want to keep pests away from your wood to keep it in tip-top condition. You also don’t want to bring pests into your home with your firewood. To get rid of these pests, try heating the logs that have become infested with bugs. Wrap the log with a thick cloth and place it in the sun. As the log heats up, it’ll kill bugs.

Another method of pest removal for firewood is by freezing the log infested with bugs. Wrap the log in a cloth and place it in a freezer (if for some reason you have an extra freezer laying around). You shouldn’t put this near any food, so use an extra or commercial freezer if you have one. Leave the log in there for three days and then inspect it for bugs when it comes out.

Be sure to inspect every firewood log prior to bringing it into your home to ensure you’re not unknowingly bringing bugs into your space.

Keeping winter pests away makes your home more comfortable and cozy during the winter months.