Freezing out Pests During Winter
As the weather gets colder a lot of people assume that the pests that tormented them during the summer disappear, but that is not the case. Winter is a major pest season, and just because you don’t have flies and mosquitos buzzing around your home doesn’t mean you are pest free. While the colder temperatures do offer relief from stings and bites, it does open the door for bigger pest problems that can be far less noticeable to homeowners making winter pest control all that more important.
Why Winter Pest Control is Important
During these colder months is when many pests seek shelter from the frigid temperature and your warm and toasty house is the perfect place for them to call home for the next few months. It is a common misconception that insects die off in the winter, but many pests have advanced strategies that allow for them to survive the winter and emerge once the weather is warm again. Take mosquitoes for example, they actually hibernate during winter! They find shelter in areas like hollow logs and stock food to begin feeding eggs when the temperature starts to rise again.
Between ants putting on weight in the fall to prepare for winter, and cockroaches being notorious for surviving harsh conditions, insects are very resourceful when it comes to surviving the winter months. Insects that go into hibernation during the winter season are known as overwintering pests. Other insects in these categories include ladybugs, moths, crickets, and while you may not see them crawling around your home during the cold, as soon as the temperature begins to warm they will begin to emerge. When this happens it may already be too late and the probability of infestation is extremely high. This is why it is extremely important to have inspections when the seasons change, so the problem can be solved before it even begins!
The Pests to Look out for During Winter
When our technicians are called to your home during the winter season, our primary focus is the inspection and prevention of pests within your home. Our goal here is to prepare your home as much as possible for when the warm temperatures come back around and bugs begin to emerge. During these inspections we will dust attics and crawl spaces, areas that pest are likely to hide, and prevent them from having access to your living areas. But there are a few pests that do not go into hibernation during the winter season, and move throughout your home during the cold and frigid months.
Much like humans, rodents seek the warmth when the temperature begins to drop. While we will typically just light our fireplaces or crank the heat, mice and rats will seek a cozy hiding spot inside of your home. Rodents make their nests inside of ceiling cavities, wall cavities, and any other area that is warm and dry. Sometimes these nests are extremely obvious but a lot of the times you will never see the nest and only see the scurrying of a mouse across your floor at night. Some owners however, will never see the nest, or rodent and only the damage they are causing.
While most rodents are known for getting into the food inside of your pantry and cupboards, they can actually cause damage that is much more severe. Unknown to most, rodents teeth continue to grow throughout their lives, which means that these pests will chew on things in order to keep their teeth short. When it comes to what they will gnaw on, rodents aren’t picky. They will gnaw on anything from tiber, cladding (a material used to add another layer of insulation and weather proofing throughout your home), and electrical wiring. If a rodent (or rodents) are chewing on your electrical wiring that is when things can become dangerous, causing house fires, which are more common in the winter versus the summer.
We’ve talked about the different types of termites and termite inspections, but did you know that these pesky insects don’t hibernate in the winter? That’s right, just because the warmth is gone doesn’t mean that termites are, in fact they remain just as active during winter than the do during every other month. From structural damage to foundational damage, these pests wreak havoc on your home and work to destroy it from the inside out.
These disgusting insects love to reside inside of your kitchen, giving them a constant food source and water source. Because of their sneaky nature, cockroaches tend to go undetected because of their ability to find the perfect hiding places. But the worst thing about cockroaches during the winter is that it is their breeding season. So while you may only find one our two at first, it is likely that a majority of the cockroaches within your home are hiding throughout your home and breeding.
Tips for Homeowners to Control Winter Pests
When it comes to pest control it is a job where we as pest control operators work in tandem with you the homeowners. Keeping your home safe from potential invaders is hard, but at Sigma Pest it is our job to help make it easier. Here are a few things you can do as homeowners to help us in keeping your home pest free during the winter months.
- Make sure that any cracks and holes around the exterior of your home are sealed in order to prevent rodents and bugs from having an entry point inside. It is important for you to pay attention to areas where utilities such as, gas, cable, and electric enter your home because this is a common access point for pests.
- Eliminate any and all moisture areas. If you have a leaky pipe or a clogged drain it is important to get this fixed immediately. Bathrooms and kitchens are common areas for moisture to accumulate and this moisture is vital for the survival of most pests during the winter.
- Make sure all of your doors and windows are free from damage and sealed properly. It is also important to repair any damaged screens, such as window screens and door screens.
- Seal up any cracks around your foundation and make sure to replace any loose mortar joints or damaged weather stripping located around the foundation of your home.
- Reduce any clutter that may be piling up in your home. We know it sounds strange but pests love clutter because it provides them with places to hide. In some cases, pests in the winter will even nest in the clutter, making it easy for them to go undetected.
- Store any firewood way from your home. Ants, spiders, and mice make nests in wood piles and if it is close to your home it they will eventually find a way in.
- Lastly, keep any branches or shrubs away from your home. This will help to eliminate a potential path for an insect or rodent to enter your home.
Taking Care of Business and Getting Rid of Winter Pests
When winter rolls around that doesn’t mean its time to lay off of the pest control. The winter season is actually the most opportune time for pest control specialists to identify and eliminate pests, and prepare your home to be pest free for the upcoming spring season. If you suspect you have a pest problem, or need to schedule your winter pest inspection give us a call! We will help to make sure that your home is in perfect condition for the holiday season with our integrated pest management services.