Common Winter Pests & How To Prevent Them
Most people associate summer with being the prime pest season. While that’s certainly true for some insects, such as mosquitoes and flies, pests don’t simply go away when the weather turns dreary. In fact, many pests don’t go into hibernation or become inactive during the winter months. Instead they start moving indoors (into places like your home!) to seek shelter and warmth from the cold, wet conditions. Here are some of the most common winter pests you might come across this winter and what you can do to prevent them from making your home theirs.
Not a creature was stirring… Except for maybe a mouse. Perhaps one of the most well-known and common wintertime pests, mice tend to seek refuge indoors during winter. These little critters will find their way into nooks and crannies within your attic, garage, or basement to nest and enjoy the warmth of your home.
Unfortunately for homeowners, mice will chew on just about anything they see as useful in building their nests, ranging from wood (such as the structural properties of your house), paper, cloth (clothing and furniture), books, insulation, wires (which can cause house fires), etc. Mice have no respect for any item they come across so they can and will gnaw on and into just about anything chewable, including irreplaceable family heirlooms, valuables, and important documents.
Along with the common house mouse, rats will also find their way indoors during winter. And just like mice, they’re apt to cause structural damage through gnawing, nest-building, and defecation.
Whether your holiday guests unknowingly bring in these unwanted pests or they hitch a ride back into your home via your luggage after a stay in a hotel on winter vacation, bed bugs are the last pest you want to find in your home. Bed bugs are incredibly difficult to control and eliminate. If you suspect bed bugs have somehow found their way into your home, contact a pest control professional ASAP!
Another incredibly common household pest, fruit flies will often be found in homes. Typically these pesky fliers are brought into your home unknowingly via fresh fruits and vegetables.
For the most part, spiders are actually beneficial invaders that actually work to help you eliminate other more pesky pests. Spiders prey and feed on flies, crickets, mites, and other household and yard bugs. Most are completely harmless to humans, just causing a bit of fright when you stumble upon them in the middle of the night. That being said, when they get settled into your home, they can definitely become a nuisance especially if they’re one of the venomous spiders native to Ohio.
Winged Carpenter Ants
Flying ants in your home are rarely a welcome sight, particularly true if it’s winter. Finding a winged ant or two in the summer isn’t usually cause for concern, since you’ll often have doors or windows open. But if winged ants are seen during the winter months, there’s a high likelihood your home is housing a carpenter ant nest within!
Preventing A Winter Home Infestation
Luckily, for most pests you can prevent a home invasion by being vigilant and dealing with them as soon as you come across them.
The best method for controlling rodents such as mice and rats is by proactive prevention. These clever critters can enter your home through spaces much smaller than their own bodies. They’re constantly in search of food, water, and shelter so the best way to prevent them is ensure they don’t have easy access to these things. It’s important to seal up any holes, gaps, cracks, and crevices around your home in the fall. Also be sure to cut off any potential food and water sources. Make sure the food stored in your kitchen cabinets and pantry is kept in airtight, sealed containers – preferably made of glass or plastic. Ensure your food waste is kept in a sealed container that can’t be easily opened. If you have a spill somewhere, make sure it’s immediately mopped up to avoid creating an inviting watering hole.
Pest-Proof Your Home
There are quite a few steps you can take to ensure your home is pest-proofed for the winter, including:
- Minimize plants and mulch around your home to eliminate “bridges” that pests can use to easily reach your house and find their way in
- Seal doors and windows
- Check for cracks and gaps around your home, such as foundation cracks, loose siding, missing roof shingles, gaps around utility lines, pipes, and wiring
- Properly dispose of trash and litter
- Keeps your yard, patio, and deck free of leaf litter, plant trimmings, and standing water
- Store food in sealed containers
- Regularly clean your home, both to pick up any potential food/water sources but also to disturb any areas where a pest might consider making a home
Call A Professional
Sometimes being proactive to prevent pests just isn’t enough. When that happens, it’s better to just call a professional to help. This is particularly true if your pest problem is ongoing or involves pests that are too difficult to manage on your own, such as bed bugs. An experienced exterminator like go2-pros pest control can help keep pests out of your home so you can enjoy your holidays, worry-free.