Keeping pests like insects and rodents out of your home is a year-round task. Certain tips you’ll hear in summer, like keeping the floor free of crumbs and making sure doors and windows are sealed, work in all weather. Here’s some tips to make sure the only snug bug in a rug, is you..

1. Check your food storage

Most of the time in your pantry, cereal or pasta is fine in the box it comes in. But if you have pest problems, consider storing your food in airtight containers. A mouse will have little trouble chewing through a Frosted Flakes box, but it might not bother chewing through a sealed plastic container.

2. Check the chimney

On a cold night, critters are smart enough to realize where heat is escaping your home. Chimneys and vent openings are a common point of entry for everything from squirrels and opossums to bats and birds. Make sure the flue is closed when not using your fireplace and be sure all chimney vents and openings are covered with a screen or grate.

3. Watch the firewood

Don’t store firewood indoors, at least not in any sizeable amount. Termites and other bugs will hitch a ride on the wood you bring indoors. Even outdoors, keep firewood at least 20 feet from your home to keep the bugs at bay.

4. Declutter quickly

Old pool toys lying under the deck late into fall, or later in winter, piles of not-yet-discarded cardboard boxes from Christmas gifts, can be a haven for pests. The less places for Insects and rodents to hide in your home, the more likely you’ll keep them out.

5. Listen closely

Every house or apartment has creaks and cracks as it cools off in the winter, but listen for the sound of scurrying feet in the walls or above the ceiling. Bugs are fairly silent invaders, but the furry pests are a bit louder. If you hear something coming down your chimney and it isn’t Santa Claus, call your local pest control expert right away.

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