Packing up your cottage at the end of the summer can create some feelings of melancholy, but it's important that you don't get too swept up in the emotions of the moment that you forget to do all you can to keep critters away over the winter. While it's true that there are likely a variety of pests – squirrels, ants, mice and more – living in close proximity to your cottage, the last thing you want is for any of them to enter the building while you're away and cause damage. Here are some important tasks to perform before you leave your cottage for the last time at the end of the season.
Cover Any Openings
Take the time to cover any openings through which pests could enter your cottage. This job includes addressing openings that are supposed to be there and those that aren't. For example, if you have a dryer vent, make sure to cover it with an impermeable cover. Openings that shouldn't be there – such as gaps around windows and doors – should be covered with durable trim or weatherproof sealant.
Remove The Food
It's imperative that you remove any food from the cottage before you leave. While things such as unopened cans can be left, anything that has been opened or has the potential to emit a smell must be taken out of the cottage. Doing so will prevent there from being any smells that attract pests to the area while you're not around.
Relocate Your Wood Pile
While it might be convenient to keep a pile of firewood next to the cottage when you're constantly making fires, it's best to move the wood away and pile it elsewhere for the months that the cottage will stand empty. Many small pests, including termites and mice, will often seek out the pile of wood and make it home – and you don't want these creatures making their living quarters immediately next to the cottage.
Give The Interior A Thorough Cleaning
Just as food can attract pests, so too can any food residue that occurred while you and your family were using the cottage. As such, it's smart to give the interior of the cottage a thorough cleaning. This means sweeping up any crumbs on the counters and floors, as well as thoroughly wiping down any surfaces that could have food or drink residue. For example, if juice was spilled on the counter, its sweetness can attract ants – even long after the juice has completely dried.
If you noticed a bug problem while you were there during the summer, it may be a good idea to call a pest control company to give your cottage the once-over before closing it up for the winter.