As the weather gets colder, animals and insects start looking for a warm place to spend the winter. To ensure that warm place isn't inside...

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As the weather gets colder, animals and insects start looking for a warm place to spend the winter.

To ensure that warm place isn’t inside your house, the National Pest Management Association offers these tips:

• Clean gutters thoroughly after most of the leaves have fallen.

• Don’t let trash pile up in outside containers.

• Remove old tires from the yard. They can fill up with water and provide a breeding ground for some insects.

• Trim shrubs and tree branches that touch the house or hang over the roof. They serve as pathways for pests.

• Stacks of firewood or lumber can harbor rodents, spiders and centipedes, so keep the wood away from the house.

• Keep up on home-maintenance chores such as repairing loose shingles and replacing rotted boards, which can attract pests such as carpenter ants.

• Pull mulch back from the house’s foundation to prevent carpenter ants or termites from entering.