Now that winter is just around the corner, you might think you’re safe from pests.
While some pests die off or go dormant during the winter months, others continue on–even into your home. Don’t let winter pests ruin your holiday season: keep reading to learn which pests to look out for this season!
Why You Need to Check for Pests in Winter
Many people think of pests as a warm-weather problem. We get it: in the spring and summer, pests seem to be everywhere. Wasps are buzzing around, mosquitoes are biting, ants are ruining your picnic, and more.
Some of these pests die off or go dormant in the winter. (Bees die off, for example, while ants hole up in their underground colonies.) However, a number of other pests stick around during the cold months.
We recommend looking out for winter pests as a proactive, precautionary measure. Come spring, you don’t want to learn an infestation has been growing in your home for months!
In recent years, it’s become even more important to look out for pests, since winters have gotten warmer. What do warm winters have to do with pests?
Warmer, more humid winters mean more bugs, earlier in the year. A mild winter allows more aboveground insects to stay alive–leading to more hatching in the spring. What’s more, higher temperatures can bring insects out of hibernation early.
For these reasons, we’d advise you to look out for pests the next few months!
Winter Pests to Look Out For
Which winter pests do you need to look out for?
There are a number of pests that might come creeping into your home this season for food, warmth, and shelter:
- Stink bugs
- Asian lady beetles
- Bed Bugs
Stink bugs (full name: Brown marmorated stink bug) are a mottled brown, shield-shaped insect common throughout fall. As the name implies, this bug releases a foul odor when disturbed or crushed. Fortunately, they’re not dangerous to humans or pets, but they’re still a nuisance!
Asian Lady Beetles
This lady bug lookalike comes inside to escape the cold, usually gathering in clusters on a home’s walls and ceilings. Like stink bugs, they aren’t dangerous, but they are annoying.
In winter, mice, rats, and other rodents might come to your home in search of food, warmth, and shelter.
This is one kind of winter pest you really don’t want in your home: not only are rodents a nuisance, they can be highly destructive, not to mention a health hazard! Rodents can cause a lot of damage to your home–chewing through food, wiring, and walls. Mice and rats also often carry diseases, which can be a big problem if you eat food they contaminated or you come into contact with their excrement. (Also, if you have pets, they might contract a disease from the rodents.)
Cockroaches prefer warmer, humid environments. As a result, they migrate en masse into homes during the colder months–seeking warmth, food, and moisture.
This oval-shaped, winged pest is one of the most hated, and for good reason: they carry diseases, they contaminate food, they reproduce quickly, and they’re hard to kill. (Plus, most homeowners just find them gross, which is understandable!)
While most eight-legged creepy-crawlies enter a state of insect “hibernation” in the winter, some may find their way into your house. Fortunately, most spiders in our area are harmless annoyances–except for the brown recluse and black widow.
These spiders are venomous, so take care. Many spiders are found in dark, little-trafficked areas of the home, so be on the lookout when you get out your holiday decorations!
We often talk about termites during the spring. That’s because spring is termite mating season (when winged “swarmers” are seen), so it’s easier to spot a termite problem then.
However, termites are active year-round, so it’s important to stay vigilant for signs of this wood-chewing pest.
Bed bugs are another pest that’s a year-round problem. However, they often spread in winter, traveling on everyone going home for the holidays.
We recommend looking out for this brown, apple seed-shaped pest during the holiday season. If you travel, check your hotel room, check your luggage, and stay alert for signs of bed bugs when you return.
How to Prevent Winter Pests
With a little bit of elbow grease now, you can help avoid a winter pest problem. We recommend taking a few steps to seal up your home and make it less hospitable to pests:
- Seal up cracks and crevices (with caulk or weatherstripping) that would allow pests inside.
- Keep food (including pet food) in tightly sealed containers.
- Keep your home tidy, and clean often. (For example, wipe down counters after each meal, clean up spills and crumbs promptly, empty trash regularly, etc.)
- Keeping clutter off of the floor, especially in your basement, garage, and attic.
- Check for signs of winter pests regularly.
If you suspect a winter pest problem, don’t wait to address it! Waiting to tackle an infestation can make it much worse, since pests tend to reproduce quickly.
Need Help with Winter Pests?
If winter pests are bugging you, we’re here to help!
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.