Most folks don’t think about winter as a particularly difficult pest season and there’s some sense to that. Most insects will not be active in the winter months. Some, like cockroaches, will be, however, and rodents will be looking for warm places to make a nest and raise their young. So this winter, as you’re making merry, have family over for the holidays, and enjoying the reverie, be sure to keep in mind that pest problems do appear, usually when you least expect it.
But what kinds of pests do you need to be on the lookout for? We’ll answer that question below.
Just like you and me, mice get cold. When they do, they look for a warm place to hold over. The last place you want that to be is your home. While they may look cute in Disney movies, mice can spread diseases including the black death (plague), salmonella, and the hantavirus. You don’t want them around you or your children. Additionally, they can cause major property damage, will eat just about anything, and contaminate your food.
What’s worse is that they can fit through a hole as small as a dime and scale telephone wires going from roof to roof. The best way to deal with them is to prevent them from gaining access to your home in the first place. Sealing cracks along your foundation is a start and placing screens in vents and ducts should be next on the list. You also want to reduce clutter in attics, basements, and garages. Store boxes off the floor and keep firewood away from your home.
Norway rats are bigger than mice, but they can still fit through a hole the size of a quarter. Worse, they will chew up your wood, electrical wiring, and can even chew through lead pipes looking for water. These rats also spread similar diseases to mice. They are vectors for rat-bite fever, plague, and cowpox virus.
Eliminating areas where moisture can accrue will make your home less attractive to rats. This means taking a look near pipes, sinks, and drains. If there are any leaks, fix them.
Nuclear apocalypse can’t stop cockroaches. Neither will cold weather. In fact, roaches go out in search of warmer climes as the weather begins to turn and your home is about as cozy as it gets. But they still need an ample supply of food and water, so that’s how you keep them at bay.
Cockroaches are awful mainly because they trigger severe allergies. They can also spread diseases and are just plain gross. They can live without their heads for weeks, and everything about them is unpleasant. The best way to deal with them is to ensure that your home is pristinely clean, wipe down countertops, the insides of cabinets, and transfer all perishable food into plastic containers. Make sure that you have no leaky faucets or pipes as they will be attracted to moisture.
Spiders, and in particular, the brown recluse spider, will stow away in your home all winter long. They like dark secluded places like your closet, old boxes, and particularly, old boxes of clothes. If you upset a brown recluse spider, they will bite you and they do have a potent venom. The bite will hurt for days and in rare cases, can become infected.
You can avoid brown recluses by reducing the shrubbery directly outside your home and taking down tree limbs that are hanging over your roof. Additionally, you want to be very careful with those old boxes of close. Your best bet is to donate them if they’re out of style or they don’t fit you anymore. Once spring rolls around again, you should wash summer clothes that were in the attic. Brown recluses particularly like to hang out in people’s clothes.
Squirrels and raccoons
Squirrels and raccoons will come into your home. If they like it there, they’ll stay and have a family. While they can enter from just about anywhere, the eaves of your roof in your attic are particularly susceptible to incursions. You’ll need to check under the eaves of your home to make sure that’s now how the squirrels or raccoons are entering.
For raccoons, you should think about keeping your garbage inside your garage or a shed. If you can’t animal-proof lids should do the trick.
Talk to a Professional Pest Control Specialist Today
If you’re having wintertime issues with pests, give Pointe Pest Control a call and schedule your free home inspection today.