Not all pests lie dormant or hibernate during the winter. It’s a common misconception they all go away and give us a reprieve until spring or summer. Before the weather becomes frigid, pests seek out an overwintering site and pursue refuge within your warm structure.
Here are some pests you may encounter indoors during the winter:
Rats and mice want to escape chilly temps by nesting within your cozy home’s attic, crawlspace, wall void, underneath appliances, or within piles of clutter. Rodents can gain access to your residence through extremely small holes: the size of a dime for mice, and the size of a quarter for rats.
Spiders can be lurking in dark, out-of-the-way areas. Once you go to grab the ornaments, decorations, and tree from the attic, shed, garage or other area which has been left untouched for a time, you may stumble upon an eight-legged surprise.
Cockroaches love moisture from your kitchen or bathrooms. They are usually picked up via paper products such as cardboard boxes, paper grocery bags, etc. That Amazon package may be bringing you more than the holiday present you ordered.
Ants normally hibernate during the winter, but can be seen indoors if they have nested within your home (wall void, window sill, doors, under a sink). They can use the provided warmth from your home to continue to function and forage throughout your home for food and moisture.
Bed bugs are a 24/7/365 issue, especially for travelers. They are found in most places people congregate such as hotels, schools, hospitals, homes, offices, public transportation (planes, trains, and automobiles) and have even been found in places such as movie theaters and libraries. Visiting relatives for the holidays? You may be the unlucky recipient of these hitchhikers.
Why You Should Continue Pest Control in the Winter
Due to the misconception all pests hibernate during the winter season, it can appear to some that pest control may not be necessary. Because of this, some people consider cancelling or skipping their pest maintenance programs until springtime. However, it is beneficial to the protection of your home and family to maintain regular pest control services throughout the winter.
Your technician does an exterior inspection at every service to ensure your home is buttoned up and keeping pests at bay. If anything of concern is noticed, he will report it. Having your technician provide service throughout winter will help prevent new entry points from going unnoticed and pest issues becoming a much larger issue later.
Treatments on the exterior of your home do break down over time. By continuing to apply treatment to your home’s exterior, it ensures a continuous barrier of protection against insects from getting in, and prepares your home for when they become more active in the springtime.
Tips for Preventing Winter Pests – Prevention is Key!
It is important to do regular examinations of your home’s exterior throughout the year to help prevent pests from entering your home. Here are some maintenance suggestions:
- Seal holes, crevices, and cracks in the caulking around windows, doors, siding, utility pipes, attic fans, dormers, behind chimneys, underneath the wood fascia, and other openings with a good quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk.
- Repair or replace damaged screens on windows, vents, or doors.
- Maintain proper ventilation for attics, basements, and crawl spaces to prevent buildup of excess moisture.
- Make sure your chimney is capped, and has mesh siding.
- Install door sweeps to all exterior entrances.
- Eliminate moisture sites by fixing water leaks.
- Clean out clogged downspouts and gutters, as they direct rain away from your home.
- Keep vegetation from growing against your home.
- Trim tree branches back and away from your structure.
- Move firewood away from the side of your home.
- Keep attics and garages free of clutter.
- If you are a pet owner, regularly remove feces from your yard.
- Keep things clean by sealing foods in containers and/or placing them inside the refrigerator.
- While traveling, keep luggage in your car or place it in the bathtub and do a check of your lodging for signs of a bed bug infestation prior to moving everyone in.
By safeguarding your home against pests, you can help to reduce the possibility of a pest invasion. However, if an infestation has already developed inside your home, contact Sentinel Pest Control to schedule a complimentary initial inspection! We’ll assess the situation and discuss a tailor-made treatment plan.