The cold months are upon us, and concern about keeping pests out of homes during winter is on a lot of people’s minds. But what many don’t realize is different winter climates pose different threats for potential pests. Harsher winters invite pests who otherwise wouldn’t be looking for shelter in our homes, while milder winters extend the life of more traditional fall pests looking to hide out inside.
Mild winters often mean longer life for the usual fall pests, including lady bugs, cluster flies and stink bugs. These pests enter the home through cracks and holes in the siding and foundation – once inside, they seek refuge in basements, attics and wall voids. Overwintering pests like these are harmless, and may go undetected until they begin to make an appearance in springtime. To avoid these pests, make sure to use preventive maintenance measures, such as performing inspections for cracks or holes, and caulking any possible entry points around your home. Inside, maintaining a dry climate can help reduce pests. Repairing leaky pipes and using a dehumidifier is recommended, as moist areas provide a thriving environment for unwanted pests.
During harsh winters, the bitter cold and extreme weather can bring more rodents inside your home, which can cause bigger problems than traditional fall pests. Rodents are often destructive – along with chewing through wallboards and electrical wiring, these pests may also carry harmful diseases. Because these pests are usually conspicuous, signs to look out for include sounds heard inside walls or ceilings, rodent droppings, holes or tears in screens, chewed-through wires or furniture, and teeth marks on woodwork. To prevent these pests from entering your home, place mesh screens on foundation or attic vents, seal creaks and holes in the foundation, stack firewood away from your house and replace loose weather stripping around basements. If you suspect rodents are in your home, don’t hesitate to contact a professional – these pests are potentially dangerous and usually destructive.
Although it may seem as though your pest problems should decrease over the winter, it doesn’t mean they disappear. It’s best to stay vigilant, know what to look out for and take steps to secure your home. Preventive maintenance is the key for thwarting unwanted guests. If you are unsure about how to secure your home, contact a professional – they are trained to find entry points that many people don’t realize and can make an inspection to ensure your home is protected from unwanted winter pests.
One of the best preventative products in the pest control industry is the Guardian Program from ScherZinger Pest Control. It’s quarterly maintenance that keeps your home pest-free all year round. Get started now before pests become a problem.