Do you know that home pest prevention starts right now, in winter? If you wait till spring, you’ll be behind the ball. Why is that? Because bugs aren’t going in and out of your home like they do the rest of the year. If you have bugs in your attic, this is the best time to do a treatment.

If your problems are bigger, like a raccoons, squirrels, or bats, you’ll want to get those removed before spring as well. Mammals carry parasites like lice, mites, ticks, fleas, and more. Not only will these animals wreck your attic spaces and fill them with excrement, those parasites could find their way into your living spaces.

If you have termites, they’re not going to wait for spring. They don’t hibernate, and they don’t stop eating your wood. If they chewed their way into your walls in fall, now is the time to get them out. A winter pest inspection from a certified pest control company can help you determine if these silent invaders are living in your walls, and get rid of them before they cost you a small fortune. With $5 billion dollars in property damages attributed to termites every year in the United States, it is a good idea to take these bugs seriously.

It is never too early to check your screens to make sure they are in good working order or to inspect your door sweeps and weather stripping. Checking these last two will even save you a little on the ol’ heat bill. That’s a nice little bonus.

This is also the time of year to do interior inspections and seal up any entry points from the inside of the attic or basement. If you wait till spring, you may have bugs to exterminate before you can start sealing up the holes, and that will cost you extra money. Use a caulking gun to fill in any rotted spots, gaps, holes, and cracks. Remember, it only takes a hole the size of a dime for a mouse to slip in, and a roach can get through a crack ¼th of an inch.

All year long you should always keep surfaces clean, keep trash sealed, and keep the rugs vacuumed, but especially in winter. Open food sources will draw bugs and rodents down from your attic spaces and into your living spaces. It can also feed bugs that would normally stay in a sluggish low energy state called diapause, so that they will have the energy to fly around and drive you crazy. Keep those jelly blobs cleaned up and always put your dishes into a sink full of soapy water. It doesn’t have to be hot water, just soapy. This will keep bugs from feasting on leftover ketchup and other sweet rotting things.

Staying bug free isn’t just a matter of year-long treatments–though those are almost essential–it is also a lifestyle. You have to live with bugs in mind to live without bugs inside. Hopefully, these tips will help you get off to a good start on your pest prevention for this new year.