Is a pest control treatment needed in winter? Very much so! Many people think that the absence of flying pests like mosquitoes, flies, and bees means that they can forget all about pest control during winter, when in fact, winter is a major pest season.
Pests seek warmth
When the temperature starts to drop, rodents and bugs seek warmth and food. Where do they go to seek shelter from the low temperatures? To our warm homes.
Mice and rats make their nests in cozy places like wall cavities, ceiling cavities, and any other warm, dry places they can find.
Cockroaches and spiders also seek shelter from the cold and get into our homes. Some dormant insects such as spiders, cluster flies, Asian ladybugs, and boxelder bugs can hide in your house during late fall and early winter to escape the cold winter temperatures and remain dormant until spring when they can easily find their way into your living spaces.
Also, carpenter ants get indoors during the winter and nest inside walls, floors, or decaying wood, damaging your house structures.
That’s why is so important to have a winter pest control plan, to ensure your family’s safety and prevent an infestation. Remember that Rodents can carry diseases such as Salmonella and Hantavirus, cockroaches can be a trigger for asthma and allergies and certain spiders can bite.
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) gives the following tips to help prevent pests from making their way into our homes:
- Seal cracks and holes on the outside of your home to help prevent rodents from getting inside. Be sure to check the areas where utilities and pipes enter the home. A mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime.
- Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home. Mice and ants can make their nests in woodpiles and easily gain access to your home if the pile is nearby.
- Rodents can hide in clutter, so keep storage areas well organized, and store boxes off of the floor.
- Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains. Extra attention should be paid to kitchens and bathrooms as these areas are particularly vulnerable to cockroach infestations.
- Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens in windows.
- Screen vents to chimneys. Keep attics, basements, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
Another helpful thing to keep in mind is not leaving food out, as food attracts pests. If you can´t wash your dishes at the moment, you can leave everything soaking in soapy water until you come back. Even small crumbs can be the perfect environment for pests, for that reason the best thing you can do is to clean and vacuum regularly to avoid any crumbs or residue on your rug, floor, or counters.
If you are worried that your house can become home to some pests this winter, it is important to take preventative measures to keep pests out by calling a pest control expert who can perform an inspection and keep the unwanted guests outdoors.