Winter Pest Control: How to Keep Your Home Critter-Free

Written by: Rose Stephan



Time to read min

Do you dread those pesky critters finding ways into your home as they seek refuge from the cooling temperatures? Right now is the best time to take proactive measures to ensure they can’t find a way to get inside.



Trim back the shrubs and plants that are growing against the exterior walls of your home. 


Pests feel safe in this type of environment. The less 'cover' for critters the less time they’ll want to spend searching for an opening into your home. 

fall pest prevention - fiskars
Fiskars Traditional Bypass Pruners from Home Hardware
GREAT TIP: Fill any holes you find with coarse steel wool followed by a low expansion foam or caulking.


Inspect your doors and windows to ensure they don’t offer an opening into your home. 


Examine your screen doors and windows. Do they have any holes in them? If so bring them to our store to be repaired as we offer screen repair as a service


Are there any gaps or openings around your door frames or windows? Are there any cracks or holes in the weather seals along the base of your garage doors? If so you need to seal them.

fall pest prevention - gaps and cracks filler
Great Stuff “Gaps and Cracks” available at Home Hardware

Screen Repair

Did you know we offer screen repair at our store? If you're local to Bobcaygeon and need to have a screen repaired, then be sure to take advantage of this great service!



Inspect the perimeter of your home for any cracks or holes. If you were a mouse or a bat on a mission could you find an opening large enough to squeeze through? Do you see any gaps or cracks in the foundation or any loose siding? What about gaps around utilities going into you home or a loose flap on your dryer vent? If you find any possible entrance then be sure to fill it with something that a pest can’t chew through.

fall pest prevention - gaps and cracks filler
Dap Max Fill Foam Sealant available at Home Hardware
DID YOU KNOW? A mouse only needs 1/4 inch crack or opening to get inside.



Take your inspection inside the home. Carefully look in and around your kitchen cupboards, under the sinks, in the basement and attic. Check the flooring and the baseboards for any gaps. It’s better to be extremely thorough because the alternative is having to deal with a squirrel, mouse or rat inside your home where there are many hiding spots. Your other option: get a cat!


To make your Fall home inspection easier, especially in darker areas like the basement, we recommend an LED headlamp like this one available at Home Hardware! And it's a great gift idea for a homeowner in cottage country!


Chimneys are an access often overlooked. If you have a chimney then consider hiring a professional this time of year to do a safety inspection and also determine whether there is any opportunity for a critter to climb down inside. One way to keep birds, bats, squirrels, rodents, leaves and debris out of the opening is a chimney cap like this adjustable one sold by Home Hardware. 

fall pest prevention - check you chimney
Adjustable Chimney Cap available at Home Hardware


Keep food away from the perimeter of your home. Although it may be more convenient to have your garbage and recycling right outside your door, or the bird feeder a few steps away, remember that these food sources attract the critters that you want to keep out of your home. Think twice and keep these areas far enough away that critters won’t be seeking food AND shelter.


If it's difficult to locate your garbage can away from your home or cottage, then consider using this heavy duty galvanized steel animal-resistant TuffBox garbage bin available through Home Hardware. We have one of these sitting outside our back door and the critters never come sniffing around it. Well worth the investment for a long term waste disposal system in cottage country where there are lots of critters, small and large, wanting to get into your garbage.



Set some traps in your house even if you haven’t seen a mouse. Hopefully there won’t be any action but it is a very useful indicator. The reality is it’s a lot easier to deal with mice at the beginning of an infestation than a situation where there has been “proliferation”. We carry both live traps and spring style traps at Bobcaygeon Home Hardware.

fall pest prevention - victor
A wide selection of Victor Mouse Traps available at Home Hardware

The Victor Catch & Hold trap humanely catches up to 4 mice. For those who don't want to kill mice, but do want to get them out of the house. 

The Victor Quick-Set is easier to set than the old fashioned wooden spring style trap and works just as effectively. 

If you don’t want to see the "end result" then consider the Victor Electronic Mouse Trap . It’s safe around children and pets when used as directed. 

For cottagers who are closing up the cottage for the winter and don't want to come back in the Spring to mouse dirt all over their counters, the Victor Pest Chaser is a good option, an ultrasonic rodent repeller that you plug in to an outlet. It emits ultrasonic sound waves that you and your pets can’t hear but that drives mice crazy!

dog walking in a field

When trying to catch unwanted pests like mice, bats and squirrels remember to consider those other "critters" already living in your home that you want to keep safe!

We hope these tips help you keep your homes free from unwanted visitors this season! If you have any other questions please feel free to ask the next time you’re at our store in Bobcaygeon. 

And be sure to check out Home Hardware's extensive line of pest control products. We love giving our expert advice to help home owners in cottage country live their happiest life!

Sincerely, Roger and Rose