Many of us think that once the cold sets in our jobs as pest control managers within our homes are done. We think that the snow and cold wind scares all of the mice and bugs away until a warmer day comes along. This could not be farther from the truth. Here are a few pests to keep a lookout for during the chiller time of the year.
When you hear the word “pest” do you often think of something small with many little legs? Many people do. However, once winter comes it is often the larger pests that can cause real damage to your home and life. These larger animals are seeking out a warm place to call home for the winter and often that new home is the one you already live in. They are drawn in by the scent of food, warm atmosphere, and protection from the elements, but they can cause a lot of trouble while they are overstaying their welcome.
Birds are the first invader to keep your eyes and often your ears out for. These birds might be attracted to your yard by the bird feeders or bird baths you keep out year round. While they may be beautiful to look at, birds are often disease carriers. The last thing you want is a wild animal bringing a possible 40 viruses and over 60 parasites into your home for the holidays.
Raccoons may seem like an obvious choice to stay away from, but they are not only attracted to your garbage cans. They are extremely smart and dexterous, so it is not unlikely that they would be able to undo any latches or open doors when seeking out a place to hunker down on a cold winter’s night. They too can be carriers of disease or house their own parasitic pests on their body that they would traipse in behind them.
Squirrels can be quite pesky when they are outdoors and digging up all of your favorite vegetables from the garden or terrorizing the bird feeder, but when those food sources dwindle away for the winter they can be equally as harmful in the search for new places to forage. They are known to enter attics and basements where they can easily chew through wires and pipes that could cause immense damage to your home. You will likely hear a squirrel before you see it in your home, so stay alert for any chewing or skittering noises coming from above or below you.
Small and Scary
The little guy is never to be underestimated when it comes to pest control. They can multiply and do incredible damage to the interior and exterior of your home quickly. Often, pests remain dormant in the fall and wake back up during the warmer months in search of food. That means you will need to stay alert for both active and inactive pests. Some additional cleaning and clearing out of old nests, webs, and egg cases can also help prevent these pests from returning once the weather warms. A few pests on the smaller side that are worth looking out for include:
- Termites and carpenter ants can nest inside your walls and floors during the cold months and eat away at your home from the inside out.
- Spiders, ladybugs, and boxelder bugs are the pests most frequently seen lying dormant within homes awaiting their spring awakening.
- Rats and mice will chew through your wiring, flooring, and walls in search of their next meal which might just come from your own kitchen or pantry.
- Cockroaches are usually found in kitchens and bathrooms throughout the winter as they are looking for a warm, moist winter getaway from the outdoor elements