Rats have begun showing up in the Okanagan in places where they have never before been a problem. Photo: Contributed

Rats have begun showing up in the Okanagan in places where they have never before been a problem. Photo: Contributed

Freeze out your home from unwanted pests

Okanagan residents offered pre-winter pest control checkup advice from Orkin Canada.

Canada’s largest pest control company is urging all Okanagan homeowners to carry out a pre-winter checkup to ensure their houses don’t become a refuge for unwanted pests.

Orkin Canada says as temperatures start to drop, rodents, raccoons and other pests will begin searching for a warm place to survive the winter months.

Matthew Wright, regional branch manager for Orkin, says his advice largely stems around keeping the perimeter of your homes free of unwanted debris or other material that can provide shelter to pests.

RELATED: The rats have moved into Okanagan

“Besides cleaning up your perimeter, the best thing you can do is to put crush rock around the outside two-foot area of your house. It is kind of an old suggestion but it works well,” he said.

“Ants don’t like the crush because they can’t build into it like sand or clay, insects don’t like it because it doesn’t provide protection from moisture and rats and other rodents don’t like it because they can’t dig into it as a tunnel wall just falls down.”

When your home is surrounded by dirt flower beds, Wright says that creates a mini-ecosystem upon which a variety of insects, such as spiders, will thrive.

Some other suggestions from Orkin to pest-proof your property include:

Exterior Walls: Be extra vigilant in covering up holes as mice can can get through a hole the size of a dime, rats the size of a quarter. Be vigilant in areas with protruding pipes. Fill in any holes with good quality caulking.

Roofs: Check vents and chimney stacks as these areas are highly desirable for squirrels, raccoons and birds, which all can do considerable damage.

Gutters: Clear out gutters as they can harbour ants.

Leaves & Plants: Collect and dispose of leaves and trim back any vegetation close to the house.



barry.gerding@blackpress.ca

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