Winter is almost upon us, and that means a number of things will be changing soon. Notably, the warm temperatures of summer will start giving way to the cool-off of fall that leads to the frigid lows of winter. When this happens, a number of pests and invaders start to change their behavior. Some go into hibernation in nests everywhere. However, others that remain active during winter don’t like to spend this period freezing out in the cold. As a result, they try to seek shelter, and your home makes a rather enticing prospect in this regard. Between the warmth of your heater and the protection from winds, rain, or even snow, it’s not uncommon to see a number of different types of invading pests during this season.
What that means for you is now is the time to start preparing your home to fight off these pests so that you keep them out, even when they want in the most. Here are five of these pests that you should concentrate on keeping out with your pest control preparations over the next several weeks.
Cockroaches can be found invading homes at all times throughout the year, but they are far more common during winter. While they’re constantly seeking food, these cold-blooded insects also need shelter as they could literally freeze to death. Cockroaches are also attracted to excess water and moisture, meaning they love to congregate around leaking pipes—a common winter plumbing problem.
Fleas strongly dislike life outside during the winter months. They can’t make their nests, their food supplies have dwindled due to mammals and birds becoming less common, and they could even die in the event the temperatures drop too low. As such, they are far more likely to jump to virtually anything that could serve as a host during this time, including dogs and cats. Because we tend to keep our houses closed up tight during winter, getting rid of fleas is also particularly difficult during winter, and nobody wants to have to deal with large-scale treatment over the holidays or while the weather is frightful.
Spiders also greatly dislike the cold, and love to make their home in your seldom-used areas. Spiders tend to prefer darkness, as it often allows them to hunt other pests that are also seeking to share your space with you. As such, indoor hunting actually becomes fairly lucrative during winter months. Spiders themselves are not particularly attracted to light, but they do eat bugs that are, such as moths. As such, we recommend keeping doors and windows closed tight, unnecessary lights turned off, and grass and bushes trimmed and away from your home. This will help keep spiders out by not giving them any easy way of getting in.
Mice & Rats
Mice and rats are mammals, and that means they need a source of heat in order to survive during winter months. While other mammals might hibernate during the winter months in order to save energy and survive, mice and rats will instead seek shelter and food. Your home is a solid supply of both, and their extremely keen sense of smell will draw these creatures to everything from your kitchen trash to your pantry. Keeping your attic and garage tidy will keep these pests out, as they will have nowhere to hide. And likewise, take a close look around your home for any cracks or gaps. It will amaze you how small of a space that even a fairly large rat can squeeze its body through.
It’s a common misconception that squirrels hibernate during the winter months. While ground squirrels do hibernate during winter, tree squirrels do not. And tree squirrels are extraordinarily common throughout our community. These are the ones who have to create a substantial stash of food for the winter months, as they will need it when nature’s supply of nuts and seeds disappears. As such, they commonly like to make their nests and stash their food in places like above garages and in attics, as these areas are generally warm, sheltered, and often undisturbed by humans. The best way to keep them out is to make sure that your attic ventilation is properly sealed. While ventilation is important, keep these vents covered by a fine metal mesh that’s difficult for a squirrel to chew through.If you find yourself struggling with a pest problem this winter, contact the team at Hopper Termite & Pest Control by dialing (479) 332-3745 today!