8 Easy Steps to Keep Pests Out of Your Home in the Winter

8 Easy Steps to Keep Pests Out of Your Home in the Winter

By Franklin Mutual Insurance
Posted in Home Tips, Weather Safety
On January 19, 2024

Rodents are extreme acrobats. They can scale wires, jump, and squeeze through teeny-tiny holes just to seek refuge in your toasty warm home. Once inside your home, mice, rats, and even squirrels can wreak havoc and be difficult to remove. Rodents are not your only concern, unfortunately, as insects can run rampant in the winter, too.

Thankfully, there are eight easy steps you can take to prevent these unwelcome visitors from entering your home.                 

1. Get rid of cracks

Cracks are an easy way for pests to enter your house. Visually inspect the outside of your home for any cracks, gaps, missing bricks, and spaces. If you find any spaces larger than an eraser, they should be closed up. An expanding caulk can fill up the areas where wires and pipes enter your home. If you discover a larger hole, copper mesh should be used to fill the gap before expanding foam can seal off the area.

2. Seal of your doors and windows


Weather stripping under doors and windows creates a seal that helps keep the cold air out and the warm air in, but it can also act as a barrier between your home and all types of critters. Check your windows and doors to see if there is any missing or damaged weather stripping. If you find any, replace it.

You can replace weather stripping in three easy steps.

  1. Remove old weather stripping from your door or window. 
  2. Replace it with new weather stripping.
  3. Trim the stripping to fit.

Repeat these steps as necessary. This quick project can help keep those pests out and help save you money on utility bills!

3. Close up the screens

Remember - insects and rodents can fit through very small holes, so even tiny rips in your screens can be an entryway for critters. Local home improvement stores have screen repair kits that are easy to use. For bigger tears, you may need to replace the entire screen.

4. Prevent a dryer vent entrance

When you run your dryer, your dryer vent becomes warm and very alluring to vermin. Fortunately, dryer vents have dampers that keep out both cold drafts and unwelcome pests. If you are missing your damper or it is damaged, your dryer vent becomes an open door for critters. Make sure to check your damper and replace it if need be.

5. Keep pet food contained


Besides warmth, animals are looking for a food supply, and your pet’s food is very alluring for rodents and critters. To ensure you’re not rolling out the red carpet, keep all pet food in airtight containers, and keep it out of your garage. If possible, keep it away from any windows and doors, too.

 6. Keep bugs out by keeping firewood out

If you store your firewood inside your garage or basement, you may be bringing in more than you’ve bargained for. Termites and carpenter ants can live inside your logs, so when you store the firewood inside your house, you’re helping the enemy to infiltrate your homestead. Instead, keep the firewood away from your home on concrete or asphalt or elevated on treated boards to keep the wood dry.

7. Stop moisture (and stop creepy crawlies)

Moisture is not a friend of your home for many reasons, but did you know that damp wood attracts insects? To ensure you are not welcoming bugs into your home, rake moisture-rich soil away from your home’s foundation. Also, periodically turn over your mulch, so it can dry out and become less inviting to pests.

8. Trim your tree branches


Keeping branches away from your home is always a good thing. It helps reduce damage to your home and it helps keep pests from using them as a bridge onto your home’s roof. Without long branches to aid them, critters will have to get creative in order to make it to and inside your home.

Dealing with unwelcome guests is never fun and can require a lot of time and money. The best way to avoid this scenario is to prevent vermin from entering your home in the first place. Taking these simple steps will help prevent your home from becoming a bed and breakfast for pests.


Get more home safety tips in the FMI HomeAssist app!


Your home is your most valuable asset. Now there’s an app for it. FMI HomeAssist, powered by vipHomeLink is a free app and service, exclusively for FMI policyholders. It allows you to organize, maintain, and improve your home all from one easy-to-use, intuitive app.

From personalized maintenance reminders to keeping all your documents and info in one secure location, HomeAssist is your go-to resource for protecting your home and preventing costly claims. It’s one more way FMI goes the extra mile to help keep you and your loved ones safe.

Claim your personalized FMI HomeAssist app and help protect your home!


FMI content is powered by vipHomeLink