Pest control

Pest control vans line the parking lot of Preferred Pest Control on Thursday in Savannah, Missouri.

As colder weather creeps in, so do pests and rodents in St. Joseph homes.

Professionals in the pest-control industry are advising homeowners to begin preparing their homes for unwanted visitors as the winter season draws near. Matt Wilson, a field supervisor for Preferred Pest Control, said fortifying vulnerable areas of a home can help prevent creatures from getting inside.

“The best thing to do is look at your foundation areas,” Wilson said. “People need to seal up any areas in their foundation that they don’t think of, such as the utility lines that come into their house.”

While rodents and pests may be the last thing on a homeowner’s mind with the holidays coming up, Wilson said sneaky critters seek out a warmer environment as their normal habitats cool off.

“When the temperature drops outside, all sorts of animals outside seek a warmer climate just like we do,” Wilson said. “It’s best to get ahead of the curve now before families start getting together and you realize you’re dealing with a large infestation.”

While taking care of a few bugs here and there may sound like an easy DIY project, Wilson said there’s only so much a person can do before needing a backup plan.

“By the time a homeowner notices an issue, the issue has been going on for a while,” Wilson said. “There’s going to get to a point where you need to call a professional for some backup because your one rodent problem has now turned into a family of rodents issue.”

Along with fortifying utility areas of a home, professionals in the pest industry also recommend making sure areas are free from clutter and spaces are properly sealed and cleaned, particularly window sills and areas that are heavily affected by rain.

Reed Gregory can be reached at

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