The holiday season is upon us and the trees are finally bare. As we humans retreat into our homes to avoid the chill, pests, unfortunately, aren’t far behind. To avoid an infestation at this time of year, there are certain preventative measures homeowners can take to protect their houses from unwanted guests. Rodents in particular can become a problem in the winter months, so read on for three ways to pest-proof your home today.

  1. Keep your home clean.

While even the cleanest house can fall prey to a bug or vermin infestation, messier homes offer pests more places to hide. A pristine room offers rodents far fewer nooks and crannies to hide in compared to one with junk on the floor. While a dirty home has plenty of food scents attracting pests in the first place, it also provides numerous hiding spots. This is a dangerous combination that can lead to an infestation in no time.

  1. Eliminate access to food.

Trashcans both inside and outside the home should have tight-fitting lids to prevent rodents from accessing the food inside. Additionally, opt for tall trashcans in the home – rodents cannot typically jump higher than about a foot. All leftovers and extra food should be put away immediately and pantries should be stocked with food in lidded, impermeable containers. Rodents have sharp teeth that can easily gnaw through paper and cardboard. Avoid mice in your kitchen by cleaning up promptly after eating and impeding access to food.

  1. Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home.

Make sure any openings in your home seal tightly and don’t offer any chance for pests to enter. Some experts suggest adding gravel or rocks around the perimeter of your home or garden to prevent mice from burrowing and gaining access to your house in unexpected ways. If you suspect mice have already entered your home, it’s a good idea to call a pest control professional.

With 25% of homeowners reporting rodent infestations specifically in the wintertime, now is the time to be proactive about pest control. The sooner you take action, the easier it is to control the problem.