Livermore, Pleasanton, Danville, Short Sale Specialist

Evaluate the exterior

Mice are probably the biggest winter pest concern, says Josh Alpert, a New York City–based exterminator and president of Green Earth Pest Control. A mouse can sneak in through a hole no bigger than a dime, while a raccoon-size creature can enter through a 6-inch opening.

Experts say that you should look for light coming through cracks when you examine your home’s exterior walls. Also, feel for air movement, which can sometimes point you to a crack you can’t see.

Your house should be sealed against the elements anyway, says Guy Hallman, an insect expert for the Department of Agriculture. If it’s not, you’re wasting energy, not just letting critters in.

“Concentrate on weather-conditioning, and that will essentially take care of the insect problem,” Hallman says.

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