Winter Pest Prevention Tips For Your Home
General Pest Control
Just because it is winter, doesn't mean you can let your guard down. There are many pests that are happy to make you miserable all winter long or build their populations for a spring pest scare. Here are some known winter pests, and what you need to do about them.
Overwintering bugs. If you have bugs in your attic or wall voids, they may just stay there. Most bugs go into a low energy state during the winter, and unless they find food, they will be content to hunker down and save their energy for spring. These prevention tips can help keep them there:
Keep counters, floors, and rugs clean.
Put dishes in soapy water instead of in a dry stack next to the sink.
Make sure your trash can seals fully.
Don't leave food out on the counter.
Put pet food down only during mealtime.
Leave fruit in the fridge till you're ready to eat it.
Fix leaky faucets. Bugs have to drink too.
It is always good to do an attic inspection during the winter. If you find nests up there, have a professional remove them and treat the area to protect it from a spring invasion.
Rodents. Rats and mice do not typically hibernate during the winter months, especially if they are used to being in man made structures. They will bump and scrape through your walls looking for something to eat. During warmer months, you can deter rats and mice from staying in your house if you seal your foods in hard plastic containers, and keep things clean. Rodents go where the food is. If your home seems empty, they will try another home. In winter those rodents are less likely to go back out into the cold to find another place to forage. You should contact a pest control company to get rid of them. Rodents can carry disease, bacteria, and parasites. The last thing you need is more flu-like sickness or a lice outbreak.
Bed Bugs. Bed bugs are hitchhiking insects that travel home with people after a vacation. If you've traveled this holiday season, bed bugs could be building their populations in your house as we speak. In the larvae state bed bugs are very hard to see. I highly recommend getting a K-9 inspection before these bugs get big enough to feed on you. If you can't afford that right now, no worries. Keep an eye out for mosquito-type bites that appear in a group or line. Bed bugs feed multiple times during the night. You can also search mattress seams and corners for black fecal residue.
Termites. These wood-eating insects do not hibernate. If they get into your house in fall, they will be active all winter long. Do an inspection of your exterior basement walls. If you see mud tubes that look like veins, call a pest management company to inspect further. Termites will sometimes damage wallpaper and wood items inside the house, if you're lucky. Why do I say, "if you're lucky?" Because most of the time, termites silently eat away at a house for year, with no visible signs.
Winter is no time to let your guard down. Always be on the watch for illness spreading--and home damaging, bugs and rodents. You have enough to worry about without having to deal with an infestation.
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