This holiday season, make sure the only visitors to your home are family and friends—not troublesome pests! We’ve provided an updated guide to the pests to watch out for this holiday season.
Keep reading to learn why pests can be a problem even in winter, what pests to look out for, and how to avoid bringing home pests after holiday travels.
Why You Need to Look Out For Pests Now
Pests aren’t just a problem in the warmer months. Some pests stick around during the cold months, and others are a problem year-round!
That’s why we recommend staying on the lookout for pests in winter. Come spring, you don’t want to learn an infestation has been growing in your home unabated all winter long!
It’s especially important to watch out for pests now because we’ve had some unseasonably mild weather this season, which is a boon for pest populations. Warmer, more humid weather allows more aboveground insects to stay alive and prompts other insects to exit hibernation early. We’re likely to see more pests this winter as well as the coming spring.
And once cold weather truly hits, we’ll see pests dart for the indoors as fast as their feet or wings will carry them.
Pests to Watch Out For This Holiday Season
This holiday season, your home is likely to get pests in one of two ways. First, pests may creep into your home from the outdoors in search of food, warmth, and shelter. Second, you or your guests may bring pests into your home thanks to holiday travels.
We recommend you watch out for rodents, cockroaches, spiders, ticks, stink bugs, and bed bugs.
Rodent populations have been booming in the past few years, and this trend shows no sign of slowing.
In winter, rodents—mice, rats, etc.—enter your home in search of food, warmth, and shelter. This winter pest is one of the worst. Rodents aren’t just a nuisance; they’re also dangerous and destructive—carrying diseases, contaminating food, and chewing through wiring and walls.
Cockroaches thrive in places with warmth and humidity. For that reason, come winter, they head straight from the cold outdoors to your home. In addition, you can unknowingly bring them into your home if their eggs hitchhike in on cardboard boxes or the bottoms of your shoes.
This creepy-crawly pest is, understandably, hated by homeowners. Cockroaches (like rodents) carry disease and contaminate food. They also reproduce quickly, and they’re hard to kill. Altogether, these traits make a cockroach infestation an extremely troublesome one to have.
When it comes to spiders, there’s good news and bad news. The good news? Spiders generally don’t migrate into your home in winter. (That’s a myth.) The bad news? They’re probably already in your home.
When you see spiders in the fall and winter, they’ve likely come out of hiding in your home to find mates and food. Fortunately, most spiders are harmless, if a little scary. The exceptions are the brown recluse and black widow—both venomous spiders that you don’t want to bite you.
As you sort through your holiday decorations this year, watch out for spiders!
Like rodents, ticks are on the rise. Milder winters allow for a longer reproduction period, which means more ticks. Following the holiday season, as the weather starts to warm and you spend time outdoors, get in the habit of checking for ticks.
This mottled brown, shield-shaped insect is common throughout fall and into winter. As the name implies, stink bugs release a foul odor when disturbed or crushed. While they’re not dangerous, they are annoying: they’re not a pest you want in large numbers in your home.
Stink bugs might end up in your home by crawling through cracks, or even by hitchhiking on top of the firewood you bring in.
Bed bugs are a big problem year-round, but they become even more problematic in the holiday season. That’s because bed bugs spread by hitchhiking on people and their belongings, and so many people travel for the holidays. Once in your home, an infestation grows quickly.
Unfortunately, bed bugs are more prevalent than ever, thanks to large numbers of travelers. (Post-COVID lockdowns, it seems that everyone wants to get out and about.) It’s possible for you or your guests to pick up bed bugs in a hotel, airport, train station, or bus, then bring them home with you.
How to Avoid a Pest Problem This Holiday Season
To avoid bringing pests into your home this winter, we recommend a two-pronged approach.
First, we recommend sealing up your home and making it less hospitable to pests. This helps keep pests outside, where they belong. Here are a few suggestions:
- Use caulk or weatherstripping to seal cracks and crevices
- Store food (including pet food) in tightly sealed containers. Avoid leaving food on countertops.
- Clean often, including wiping down counters, cleaning up spills and crumbs, and sweeping or mopping the floor.
- Keep garbage in sealed containers, and empty it regularly.
- Keeping clutter off of the floor, especially in your basement, garage, and attic.
- Check for signs of winter pests often. Don’t ignore warning signs or put off a call to pest control.
Second, we recommend taking a few precautions when traveling:
- Check your hotel mattress for signs of bed bugs before settling in to the room.
- Don’t unpack your clothes at the hotel.
- Store your luggage away from the bed and off of the floor.
- When you get home from your travels, wash and dry your clothes on high heat. If you’re especially concerned, you can keep your luggage in the garage.
By staying alert and taking a few simple precautions, you might be able to avoid a pest problem this winter. However, if you do have a pest issue, that’s where ScherZinger Pest Control comes in.
Need Help with Pests?
Contact Scherzinger Pest Control, a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We’ve been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our website, Facebook, or Twitter.