Discover Which Pests Want to Move in During the Winter and How to Protect Your Home from Infestations
Spring and summer may be buggy with mosquitoes and stinging insects, but once the temperature drops, other household pests begin infesting homes throughout the region.
Weather throughout the year also has an impact on pest pressures for the following seasons. Significant periods of rainfall during the summer allowed for pests to survive during colder weather. This news comes as a warning of ticks during the early part of the season and rodents that start moving indoors to escape frigid conditions.
As a result, many homeowners in the Northeast opt for year-round pest control services to avoid issues in the cold months. Catseye Pest Control’s Platinum Home Protection includes pest removal as well as sealing and treating gaps and cracks. It also covers perimeter treatments and bi-monthly visits for ultimate peace of mind.
Although it may be tempting to loosen pest control protocols during cool weather months, these seven winter pests are waiting to prove the need for year-round vigilance.
Mice spend their winters actively searching for warmth, food, and shelter. These tiny household pests can squeeze through a gap or crack as tiny as one-quarter-inch wide, which is why it’s essential to seal gaps and cracks.
It’s also why exclusion systems, which create a permanent barrier to keep mice and other pests out, can be so effective for prevention and ongoing control.
Once inside, these critters are attracted to food and may chew up items in the pantry or on counters. One of the most common species found in the Northeast and New England is the common house mouse.
These critters are also known to damage insulation when nesting, chew wood and drywall, and even gnaw on wires. Make your home less inviting by regularly cleaning floors and counters and keeping food stored in plastic containers.
It’s also helpful to minimize clutter in spaces where mice can hide and monitor the home for signs of mice (like droppings and gnaw marks).
Like mice, rats leave messy droppings, food messes, gnaw marks, and damage in their wake. These rodents can squeeze through openings as small as a quarter. Common rats in the region include Norway rats, which typically nest in debris piles, crawlspaces, and basements. They may gnaw through pipes, and like other rodents, they can carry multiple diseases, including rat-bite fever and cowpox.
Signs of rats in the house include greasy track marks left by their oily fur, droppings, and disturbed food packaging. Cleaning and sanitation, along with securing food in airtight containers, can help minimize rat infestations. Dehumidifying basements and crawlspaces can also help, as can sealing any gaps, cracks, and other openings.
What is thought of as a warm-weather pest, it actually takes numerous consecutive days of extreme, negative temperatures to eliminate stink bugs. This means the pest could be looking for a way inside homes throughout the Northeast year-round.
Looking for a warm place to spend their winter days, stink bugs see man-made structures as the ideal place to be during the colder months.
Making their way into structures through siding, soffits, window and door frames, chimneys, or any variety of opening they can find, homeowners can find hundreds or thousands of stink bugs in their homes, garages, or sheds.
Any season can be cockroach season, so winter is no exception. Common cockroaches in the Northeast include the German cockroach, which is usually around 1/2 inch long and light brown or tan. The American cockroach, which is typically reddish brown, can grow to lengths of up to 2 inches.
Cockroaches crawl inside homes through tiny cracks and openings, often in search of food and water. They may also catch a ride on backpacks, luggage, and grocery bags. Sealing openings is the only way to prevent a winter infestation. Keep floors and counters clean, regularly dispose of garbage, and remain vigilant in kitchens and bathrooms.
Spiders, including the brown recluse spider, which has a venomous bite, are also active through winter. They can enter buildings by crawling into small openings or hitching a ride on clothing. Once inside, they like to hang out in quiet spots like crawlspaces, basements, attics, closets, and cardboard boxes.
Keeping shrubs and trees trimmed away from houses helps minimize the risk of spiders coming indoors. If you suspect you have a spider bite, seek medical attention promptly.
Winter’s frigid temperatures can be a benefit for bed bugs, which crave warm humans to feed upon, because humans stay inside more frequently during winter. Also, thicker, warmer bedding provides these household pests with more spots to nestle in and hide.
Bed bugs typically catch a ride into homes on clothing, luggage, backpacks, and soft, upholstered items that come in contact with infested areas. Signs of an infestation include tiny spots of blood on bedding or pajamas, itchy bites, and live bugs near mattress tags and crevices. Professional bed bug control is essential for eliminating these pests.
North America is home to approximately 475 species of ladybugs, also known as ladybird beetles or lady beetles. Although the pest holds many benefits, including consuming aphids and other crop-damaging insects, they look to man-made structures for warmth.
The red and black pest often enters buildings through eaves and other small openings, then spend their time hiding in the walls, only to crawl onto windows during the day to soak up the sun.
Ladybugs are unlikely to reproduce inside homes, sheds, garages, and other man-made structures, but can attract other pests as the population begins to die if the situation isn’t handled properly.
Call Catseye for Winter Pest Control
House bugs and other pests are still active, even when there is snow on the ground and temperatures plummet. Professional pest control can quickly and effectively eliminate the problem, locate how winter pests are getting in, and prevent them from returning.
Contact Catseye today to schedule a free inspection. From there, we can create a custom plan to efficiently address your unique property and pest control needs.