We thought we would highlight a spooky Halloween-like topic with Halloween just around the corner.…
Homeowners and property managers often overlook the need for pest control in the winter months. To many people, once the bees, mosquitoes, and ticks are gone, the winter months are pest-free. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Are there pests in the winter?
Like humans, many pests seek shelter from the cold, snow, and other winter elements. Once in your home, it does not take long for these pests to become a nuisance and quickly become an infestation.
Seeing a spider or two, or perhaps hearing little footsteps or scratches above your head at night when sleeping, may seem like nothing. However, err on the side of caution and contact a pest control professional to, at minimum, inspect your home and offer peace of mind or options to take care of the problem.
What types of pests are active in the winter?
As you can guess, the pests listed below are the most common and often preventable. Please do not discount finding one of these as an isolated incident. The health and safety of your family and pets are important.
- Cockroaches. Cockroaches have been around for millions of years, evolving into some of the most adaptable creatures in the world. But are they able to survive the cold weather? Generally speaking, most cockroaches can survive year-round if they have easy access to a warm, moist environment. The German cockroach, for example, prefers an indoor humid habitat close to food and moisture sources. As such, this species often makes itself quite comfortable in residential kitchens and bathrooms, especially during the winter months. The American cockroach, on the other hand, will live outdoors in warmer climates. Once the temperature dips, this type of cockroach will mass migrate into homes or larger commercial buildings such as restaurants, grocery stores, food processing plants, and hospitals.
- According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), winter is a prime season for rodent infestations, with 24% of homeowners reporting mice infestations specifically in the winter. Rodent infestations can be more than just an annoyance. Mice bring other pests, such as fleas, mites, ticks, and lice, indoors, which can quickly spread throughout homes. Moreover, these rodents can contaminate food sources with feces that can spread Salmonella and Hantavirus.
- Ants. You don’t always see an army of ants marching across the kitchen counter in the dead of winter. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t nearby. Ants are very successful at overwintering in the great outdoors, including our yards. During the fall months, they indulge in vast amounts of food to put on fat to survive for weeks without eating. As the winter chill arrives, their body temperature and productivity significantly decrease, so they seal their colony and hunker down in deep soil or under rocks until spring has sprung. Once the temperature rises, ants will emerge from their overwintering sites, full of energy and ready to crash the next backyard barbecue.
- Spiders. There are many different types of spiders, but only a few are harmful to humans. So, if you find a spider in your home, it’s not necessarily a sign of an infestation. It could just be an individual that entered through an open door or window. Although spiders are often viewed as pests, some of them are beneficial. Spiders eat insects and other arthropods that are harmful to humans and animals. They can also help reduce the population of pest insects in your home. (a-z Animals)
- Bedbugs (Hitchhikers from holiday travels) Bed bugs can withstand temperatures from nearly freezing to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes controlling them extremely difficult. However, they often succumb after a few days of exposure to temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The bad news is our homes provide the perfect habitat for bed bugs to survive during the winter months.
How to pest-proof your home this winter
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) has several tips that every homeowner can use to help prevent these winter pests from gaining access to the home.
- Seal cracks and holes on the outside of your home to help prevent rodents from getting inside. Be sure to check the areas where utilities and pipes enter the home. A mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime.
- Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home. Mice and ants can make their nests in wood piles and easily gain access to your home if the pile is nearby.
- Rodents can hide in clutter, so keep storage areas well organized and store boxes off the floor.
- Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains. Extra attention should be paid to kitchens and bathrooms as these areas are particularly vulnerable to cockroach infestations.
- Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens in windows.
- Screen vents to chimneys. Keep attics, basements, and crawl spaces well-ventilated and dry.
Winter brings enough worry about home damage with wind, snow, and frost. Following these tips will help reduce the likelihood of your home experiencing other seasonal problems due to pests. When winter pests are kept outdoors, your home becomes a healthier place to host holiday parties and spend time with family, and that is what the season should be all about.
Are you unsure if you need a pest control service this winter?
At All Pest Proz, we understand that as the seasons change, bugs, insects, pests, and wildlife seek shelter. Fall and winter pest control is essential to prevent infestation and damage to your home. As the temperatures drop, many pests, including rodents, spiders, and insects, seek shelter indoors to escape the winter weather. Contact us for a free quote and rest easy during the Thanksgiving and holiday season.
We wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving with family and friends. Thank you for your continued support and business.