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Winter preparations to reduce pest activity in and around your home and office.

Updated: Nov 26, 2017

It's that time of year again, holidays are quickly approaching and the ground is lightly dusted with snow. Perhaps like myself, Thanksgiving has crept up on you with such stealth that you find yourself surprised. We all mean well, with our To-Do-Lists and our Honey Do Lists, but between work, family and just the need to relax we often find ourselves with more on our plates than we can ever hope to accomplish unless we were to take time off, from life. I don't know about you, but for me that just isn't an option.

So what can you do to reduce certain pest issues without taking time off work or canceling plans? Here are some simple things that don't require any extra time at all. The four main pests that come into play here in mid-Michigan after the temps drop are; Rodents, Roaches, Carpenter Ants and Spiders.

Roaches can travel with you from any store. They can even be shipped right to your door. We recommend opening your purchases as soon as possible and disposing of cardboard boxes, paper and plastic bags as these are excellent hiding places for roaches. If you open a box and notice speckling on the inside of the box or anything that looks like coffee grounds, you should do a thorough inspection of what was inside that box to make sure you don't have any roaches or other pests hiding in the contents.

Rodents like to hang out in garages, sheds, wood piles and even in your BBQ grill. If you store bird seed or pet food in your garage/shed make sure that you are storing it in heavy plastic containers with tight fitting lids or metal trash cans. Make sure you don't stack wood tight next to the house. Rodents will often take advantage of such wood piles and not only take up residence in them but they can also sneak inside while you're busy carrying in wood if the wood pile is close to a door. Clean your grill before you store it for the winter to reduce the chances of the whole mouse "bed & breakfast" thing from happening, yes I know you all just went "EWWWW". Since the holidays are upon us and it's a time to share our favorite snacks and treats, make sure you store those goodies in tightly sealed containers especially overnight.

Spiders that belong outside such as wood/wolf spiders, often catch a ride inside on things as we are putting away our summer items. Inspect cushions, plants/planters and other decorative things before you bring them inside. Spiders can also find their way inside in firewood, so be careful about not bringing in more wood than what you actually need at a time.

Carpenter ants often find their way inside in that same firewood or anything that has been sitting/laying on the ground. To prevent or reduce the chances of bringing them inside your home always check your firewood well, before stacking it. Anything with holes, tunnels or rotten sections are subject to carpenter ant infestations, also be wary of pieces with loose bark. Suspicious wood should be kept in a separate pile away from your good firewood. Avoid bringing in any extra wood unless it is good, solid firewood, but remember even good wood can harbor insects.

See that wasn't so hard and you didn't even need to take time off work!

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