Common Pests to Watch Out for This Winter
When it comes to insects and other creatures that can invade your property, you probably only worry about it during the warmer months. But while the cold winter can keep people inside, it can do the same for pests. Winter doesn’t mean those common pests like termites and spiders will go into hibernation. They very well may choose your home as their winter cottage! It doesn’t take a huge temperature drop for winter pests to become a nuisance in your home.
Much like humans, insects seek comfort and nutrients, which can more easily be found inside your home than in the wintry outdoors. You may first notice any winter visitors on the western-facing side of your home, as these bugs enjoy sunbathing in the warm, afternoon sun.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common pests that are most likely to seek refuge in your home when the thermometer drops:
Most people associate termites with warm weather because that is generally when you will see their swarm. However, they take advantage of these cooler months to reproduce – which they will continue to do right through February. Eastern Subterranean termites are of greatest concern, as their colonies can grow to several million in size. They are also very aggressive insects that cause more than $5 billion in property damage nationwide each year.Here are our best termite protection steps, which you should implement around this time every year:Repair any roof or plumbing leaks. The moisture from water runoff allows termites to survive above ground.
Ensure gutters drain properly and direct moisture away from your foundation.Eliminate all wood-to-soil contact around your foundation, keeping firewood and other wood debris from being stacked against the side of your home.Keep mulch or soil away from your home’s siding. It’s best to have a barrier of a few inches.
Use a mesh screen on all windows, doors, and ventilation openings.Have your home inspected by a pest control and treatment professional at least once a year. Prompt treatment and regular inspections can save you thousands of dollars in damage repair.
Mice and Rats
Right now, rodents are seeking warm shelter and an easy meal, and of course, they will target your home. Mice and rats are ingenious little pests, and they’ll find the tiniest of entrances to escape the cold weather – they’re able to slip through holes, cracks, or gaps as small as a pencil width. Once inside, they’ll camp out behind walls, appliances, and crawl spaces, and you may never even know they’re there.
Here are two things you can do right now to help prevent a rodent infestation:
- Seal up any holes around the outside of and underneath your home.
- Seal up any food sources to make your home less attractive to them.
Mice are nocturnal creatures that can sometimes be heard rooting around at night. If you see or hear mice during the day, it is a sign that you are on the verge of a severe infestation, as mice don’t come out during daylight hours unless things are getting a bit too crowded
It is not really a problem to see an occasional spider inside the home. In fact, they can actually help to keep down the population of other household pests. But, when a spider population is left unimpeded, the infestation could start giving you a problem. Brown recluse, black widow, and other types of spiders love making their own winter homes in attics, garages, and any other out-of-the-way areas.
Some common places where spiders may hide and breed in your home include damp garages or basements, in cracked walls or gaps around pipes, windows, and doors, in piles of newspapers and old magazines, in open storage boxes in basements and closets, under kitchen and bathroom sinks, especially if they leak, and in houseplants – even the artificial ones!
If you start to notice that you’re seeing way too many of them, just let us know. Getting rid of spiders is a complex, multi-step process that we have plenty of experience with.
Cockroaches can survive anything, even the harshest of winters. In fact, scientists believe that cockroaches walked the earth more than 280 million years ago, making them one of the oldest insects in the world. There are about 4,000 species of cockroaches, but thankfully only about ten of those species live close to humans. Like the other pests in this list, cockroaches are attracted to moisture and excess water. They will also enter your home in search of food.
To reduce your chances of a cockroach infestation this season, make sure to check for the following:
- Check your pipes regularly for leaks and make any needed repairs quickly. Bonus: seal around pipe entry points into the home.
- Clean your gutters.
- Store items in plastic containers rather than cardboard and keep them off the floor.
- Store food (including pet food) in airtight containers.
- Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink.
- Wipe down countertops and sweep and vacuum regularly.
- Clean under sinks, in stoves, and behind appliances regularly.
- Empty the trash regularly.
Sometimes we do our best to take every precaution against these pest invasions, and it just isn’t enough! If you find yourself in that sticky situation, just give us a call, 972-445-7300. All American Pest Management’s friendly, experienced professionals are here to help keep your home healthy, safe, and comfortable all year long.