Rhode Island winters are notorious for their large amounts of snow, icy conditions, and extended periods of frigid temperatures. Although you might assume that those conditions keep pests at bay, winter can be a very active time for many of the state’s most common pests. Learning about the types of pests to watch out for along with how to watch for signs of pest activity and what to do if you suspect a pest are essential components in home protection.
Common Winter Pests in Rhode Island
People like to cuddle up with each other and get cozy during the cold weather months. Unfortunately, that is also true for many pests, which drives them to move indoors and find a warm place to call home. Let’s take a look at six common winter pests in Rhode Island, along with tips from the experts at Catseye Pest Control for preventing infestations.
Rodent infestations may be one of the top complaints that many pest control companies get during winter, including house mice, deer mice, field mice, and rats. Rodent activity seemingly surges during winter because mice and rats move indoors for warmth and shelter. Both types of animals can squeeze through tiny openings to nest inside walls, attics, and even under appliances. These critters are a health hazard that can contaminate food and surfaces with pathogens that cause diseases like hantavirus and salmonella. Rodents also commonly chew through wiring, insulation, and structural elements.
Rodent Prevention Tips
Maintaining sanitary conditions and eliminating easy food sources for rodents is an excellent starting point for preventing rodent infestations. Top tips include:
- Store food in airtight containers made of rigid plastic, glass, or metal, including pet food.
- Use rodent-proof garbage receptacles with tight-fitting lids inside and outside.
- Seal entry points like gaps and cracks in the foundation, soffits, around pipes, and in siding.
- Maintain your property by trimming bushes, trees, and low foliage to help reduce rodent harborage.
- Keep wood piles and other debris far from the structure.
If you suspect you have a winter rodent infestation, call for professional rodent control ASAP for effective elimination.
From the common house spider to species like the bark crab spider, Rhode Island’s spider population can remain active year-round. Spiders survive cold weather by finding shelters to keep themselves and their egg sacs protected. Although they tend to be more active during warm weather, once inside, spiders seek warm, moist, dark spots where they can thrive.
Spider Prevention Tips
Sealing holes and cracks in your roof, siding, foundation, and around windows and doors can prevent spiders from entering. Cleaning regularly, reducing clutter, and eliminating food sources can also help minimize the risk of infestation.
Cockroaches have been on the earth for hundreds of millions of years. They are renowned for their adaptability and resilience to many conditions, including winter’s chill. When the weather gets cold, German and American cockroaches will move into homes around New England, seeking shelter preferably in warm, moist spots. In addition to seeing live bugs, signs of cockroach activity include coffee ground-like droppings, dead cockroaches, and a musty smell.
Cockroach Prevention Tips
Taking a few precautionary measures can significantly enhance cockroach prevention efforts. These include:
- Sealing gaps and cracks, particularly any in your foundation, exterior walls, and around doors and windows.
- Keeping a clean, minimally cluttered interior helps limit hiding spots and reduce potential food sources for insects.
- Avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink or any uncovered food on counters or tables overnight.
- Regularly take the garbage out and store all food, including pet food, in sealed containers.
- Make sure there are no leaky pipes in the basement, kitchen, or bathroom areas.
Professional cockroach control is the most effective way to get rid of these creepy crawly pests and keep them away for good.
Bed bugs can be a nightmare in any season. These ectoparasites, which is a category of pests that live outside of their hosts, slow down a bit in winter, but they don’t hibernate. The cozy temperatures inside your home can keep bed bug populations thriving all year long. If you have warm, thick bedding, these six-legged insects can be even more difficult to discover.
Bed bugs can hitch a ride into your home on clothing, upholstered items, and luggage. Once inside, they find dark crevices to hide away and reproduce, coming out only to feed on the blood of their hosts. Signs of bed bug activity include itchy bites, spots of blood on bedding, and dark stains along the edges of mattresses, box springs, and baseboards.
Bed Bug Prevention Tips
Eliminating spots for bed bugs to hide can go a long way toward reducing your chances of an infestation. Reduce clutter, invest in bed bug covers for your mattress and box spring, and routinely wash and dry your bedding. Because bed bug infestations can be notoriously challenging to eliminate on your own, it’s important to call for professional help promptly if you suspect a problem.
Silverfish are small and quite destructive. Although their size is roughly comparable to a nickel, these steel-colored insects can wreak havoc. They don’t hibernate and remain active, even in the coldest months. These insects are active at night and rarely sting people. However, silverfish consume polysaccharides, which are sugary components that are found in various objects already in your home. Book glue, furniture, artwork, carpet fibers, and wooden beams are all vulnerable. Silverfish love moist environments, which is where they typically leave their eggs.
Silverfish Prevention Tips
One of the ways to help prevent these moisture-loving pests from setting up shop in your home is by reducing the moisture inside. Use a dehumidifier in damp areas like basements and crawl spaces and ensure bathrooms and kitchens are well ventilated. It’s also helpful to store all the dry goods in your pantry in sealed containers and dust your home frequently. Keeping your property free of debris, including leaves and dead plants, can help ward these pests off in outdoor areas.
Typically, ant activity decreases in winter. However, like many pests, ants spend time in autumn looking for a warm spot to take shelter from winter’s cold. If you notice ant activity indoors during winter, one of two scenarios is likely. Either you already had a colony in your home, or a colony moved in during late fall. Homeowners may see foragers or swarmers, which indicates a colony is nearby. Typically, ants build their colonies in out-of-the-way spots. Examples of places to look include under floors, inside wall cavities, inside window and door frames, and inside cabinets.
Ant Prevention Tips
One of the best ways to prevent ants in winter and in any season is by cutting off their food source. It helps to keep a clean home, regularly wiping the counters and sweeping up any crumbs. Avoid leaving food debris and pick up pet food once they are finished eating. With no access to food, ants often either die off or move to a new home.
Contact Catseye for Professional Winter Pest Control in Rhode Island
Dealing with winter pests in Rhode Island isn’t always easy. By keeping a watchful eye and taking preventive measures like those mentioned above, you can help keep your home safe from unwanted winter guests. When prevention isn’t enough and you find yourself facing a pest problem, don’t hesitate to call Catseye.
Our trained, licensed team of technicians will perform a thorough free inspection to identify the type of pests that are invading your home. Then, they will develop a custom treatment plan to eliminate winter pests quickly, safely, and effectively. Contact us today to schedule an inspection and begin enjoying a pest-free winter season in the Ocean State.
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