Pests are a problem during every season. Though insects are most common in the summer, there are lots of pests that sneak into homes in the fall and persist throughout the winter. You might also bring some home with you if you travel.
If you are currently dealing with pests, or if you need some help, reach out to professionals, like Oakville Pest Control. A technician can identify the species, take care of it, and prevent it from coming back.
Here are some pests you should look out for this winter:
Like us, mice are warm-blooded animals that look for shelter from the cold. This causes a spike in mouse problems during the winter. The little critters come sneaking in through wall vents, door gaps, and other little gaps in the walls to reach the interior. Once indoors, they nest in quiet areas like wall voids, motor compartments, drawers, and storage closets.
Mice tend to make little scratching noises in the walls at night. They also leave droppings on the floor and can be spotted scurrying along the baseboards of the home. Mice should be removed immediately because they spread disease.
Rats love the warmth of our homes. Like mice, they often break in during the fall, when it gets cold, then they stay indefinitely. Rats however are much bigger than mice. They usually come inside by burrowing through the foundation or chewing holes in the wall vents.
Rats stay low to the ground, so they are often found in basements and storage rooms. Another differentiating factor is how they move in and out of the house every night to find food. With this behaviour, rats can be evicted with the use of a one-way door.
Rats make scratching noises in the wall and dirty the home with droppings. If you’ve noticed some rats in your yard, they might try to move into the house. Contact a professional so you can keep them under control and prevent them from getting inside.
Bed bugs don’t care what season it is. These bugs live in mattresses, bedroom furniture, laundry machines, and hotels. People often get them after staying in hotels over the holidays or doing their laundry in an unusual place. Beware of these bugs. Check your belongings carefully whenever you return from a trip away from home.
Common signs of a bed bug problem include bite marks that appear on the skin in the morning. You might also notice a bug crawling away from you while you lay in bed. Bed bugs are small, flat, and brown. Hire a professional immediately upon seeing the signs of a bed bug problem because the problem will only get worse with time.
Cockroaches won’t go away with the cold. These bugs are a problem all year long. If there are cockroaches in your home, you must hire a pest control technician to remove them. Cockroaches are tough, disgusting pests that won’t go away without professional insecticides. They will continue to dirty your home and risk making you sick with germs and allergens.
Cockroaches are small, brown insects with two long antennas that stick out from their heads. They are most commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms, the most humid areas of the home. Contact a professional as soon as you spot one in the house.
Ants? In the winter? Absolutely. Ants go into hibernation when the temperature drops, but if they make their way indoors, they will stay awake. Carpenter ants, for example, have been known to nest in the walls, where they will stay warm throughout the winter.
Spotting some ants in the house is possible and it may point to a serious infestation. Contact an exterminator immediately for an inspection and removal plan. The colony will not go away without proper treatment.
How to Pest-Proof the House
Not sure where to start? Here’s a list of the most common entry points and how you can block them off.
- Wall vents: Cover these with a quarter inch, 16-gauge steel mesh. Screw the mesh into the wall directly. Rodents won’t be able to chew on it.
- Weep vents. Plug weep vents with stainless steel covers to keep mice out.
- Door gaps. Add weatherstripping to the bottoms of your doors to the outside. You’ll keep drafts, dirt, and pests from crawling underneath.
- Holes in the wall. If you live in a shared building, the holes surrounding your plumbing and electrical outlets may bring in pests from your neighbor’s home. Seal these with expanding foam or silicone caulking. Use caulking, mortar, or epoxy for holes outside.
- Foundation cracks. Small pests can slither through these, while rats can broaden them to get inside. Seal cracks with an epoxy to keep them out.
- Soffits. Gaps between the soffits and the walls of the home may bring in mice in the winter and wasps in the summer. Close these with silicone caulking.