There are a lot of great things about winter. You get to enjoy the holiday season with your loved ones, curl up in front of the fireplace, and maybe even enjoy a beautiful snowfall. One of the best things about winter is that so many pests – including mosquitoes, wasps, bees, and hornets – go into a state of hibernation or dormancy for the duration of the winter.
There are some pests that become more of a nuisance during winter, however, when the cold weather drives them to seek shelter and food inside your home. This winter, be on the lookout for these common winter pests and take steps to prevent an infestation from taking hold of your home.
- House Mice & Norway Rats
House mice are the most common rodent in the United States. They tend to nest in dark, secluded places like attics, basements, and even crawl spaces. They might seem relatively harmless, but mice can cause serious property damage by chewing through insulation and wires, which could lead to a house fire. They’ve also been known to spread diseases and contaminate food with things like salmonella and tapeworms. House mice can squeeze through holes the size of a dime, so it can be extremely hard to know how they’re getting inside your home.
Norway rats tend to nest in basements or in piles of undisturbed debris like cardboard boxes. Like house mice, they can cause severe property damage and spread harmful diseases. They need a hole about the size of a quarter in order to enter your home. They can chew through almost any material – including cinder block and lead – to get to food or water on the other side.
Check for signs of a mouse or rat infestation this winter by looking for damage to cardboard or food material. Look for droppings around your home and greasy marks on your walls left by rats’ oily fur.
The best way to prevent rodent infestations is to call in a professional pest control company to inspect your home and perform a preventative treatment to keep rodents away.
Cockroaches need to live close to food and moisture to survive, and they’ll often migrate indoors during the winter months in search of sustenance. They can also hitchhike inside your home in things like grocery bags, boxes, and secondhand items. You’ll most likely find cockroaches living in your kitchen and bathrooms due to the readily available food and moisture. Cockroaches are not just a nuisance, they’re actually extremely dangerous pests. They can trigger allergy symptoms and asthma, and they can spread seriously harmful diseases to your food.
Cockroaches are extremely adaptable and resilient, so calling in a professional pest control expert is the best way to go to get rid of them. You can do your part to help them stay gone by vacuuming your home regularly, promptly disposing of garbage, and keeping all your food in tightly sealed glass or plastic containers.
Raccoons are very good climbers and will most likely enter your home through your chimney or attic. They can also be found in crawl spaces and basements, but they tend to prefer a drier space to build their nests. They come inside looking for a warm, safe denning spot to hunker down in for the winter. Raccoons might look cute, but they’re a major host of rabies in the United States and can become aggressive and dangerous when they feel threatened. The best way to keep them out of your home this winter is to repair any possible access points like broken vents covers, broken siding, or other exposed openings and put a mesh cover over your chimney. It’s also a good idea to trim tree branches back so they’re not touching your home.
These are just three common pests that could try to make their way inside your home this winter. To prevent even more pests from getting in, there are a few simple steps you can take. Store any firewood at least 10 feet away from your home, make sure your windows have tight-fitting screens or storm windows, declutter your storage spaces, replace loose weather stripping, and eliminate sources of excess moisture like leaky pipes and clogged gutters. Of course, you can always call Pest Authority to treat your property and prevent pests from getting inside in the first place, so you can enjoy the winter season pest free.