Contrary to popular belief, pests don’t just disappear when colder weather sets in. Overwintering pests are those that find a warm place to shelter during the winter, most often inside your home! Some household pests thrive year-round because the warmth, water, and food supply in your home allow them to survive even in the harshest weather conditions. Some common winter pests include rodents, roaches, spiders, and bed bugs. For this reason, it’s important that you don’t forget about winter pest control! Here are a few of our favorite winter pest control tips you can use to make your home pest-free.
- Seal cracks and crevices outside your home to keep pests from being able to get in, especially where pipes and utility lines come into the house.
- Replace any loose mortar.
- Replace weather stripping around doors and windows.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet from your home and elevate it if possible.
- Keep your home decluttered.
- Use plastic storage instead of cardboard when possible.
- Eliminate moisture and standing water in and around your home (leaky pipes, clogged drains).
- Use door sweeps.
- Repair or replace screens on windows and doors.
- Use chimney screens.
- Ventilate and keep attics, basements, and crawlspaces dry.
- Clean up any food and crumbs.
- Invest in routine pest control from a professional pest control company.
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You might be thinking that since the weather is cooling down, pests won’t be as active. While that’s the case to some, most pests will be making their way indoors to seek warm shelter. Some homeowners even claim to see more pests in their home once the weather cools down. Here are some of the most common questions about winter pest control.
Which Pests Are Most Active?
Surprisingly, there are some pests that survive throughout the colder months. The main ways they stay alive are through hibernation, migration, and overwintering. Overwintering pests are our main issue in the winter. These are the pests that will migrate indoors instead of to a different part of the region.
Some of the most common pests still seen in the winter are cockroaches, rodents, and termites. Most of the time their activity might slow, but they are still nearby and ready to get back into full gear once the weather warms up.
How Often Should Pest Control Be Done?
The goal of pest control is to keep pests away and prevent infestations. Therefore, quarterly pest control is important. If you miss your regular pest control in the winter, it can create an easy opportunity for pests to get inside.
Winter is the best time for a barrier to be put in place. Some pests including spiders, cockroaches, and rodents can be a bigger issue this time of year, so getting ahead of schedule is key.
If you are ready to set up your winter pest control, give your local pest control company a call and they can help you set up a customized plan to prevent these pests.
The cooler weather of fall drives many pests indoors in search of warmth from the cold, shelter from the weather, and food when supplies are scarce. These overwintering pests will spend the cold season indoors, often in your home, until the weather warms back up in the spring. Some common fall pests are spiders, rodents, roaches, and stinkbugs. Don’t let these pests take over your home this fall. Keep them out with these 4 fall pest proofing tips.
1. Seal Them Out
The first step in pest-proofing your home is to seal them out. Pests can be very creative when it comes to finding ways into your home. Screen attic vents, chimney openings, mail slots, and pet doors. Seal any cracks or crevices on the exterior of your home with caulk or steel wool. Seal around any utility pipes that enter your home. Replace or repair weatherstripping on doors and windows. Repair any loose mortar around windows and foundations. Install door sweeps on your doors. Repair and replace any window screens.
2. Dry It Out
Most pests need water to survive. Many prefer a moist environment to thrive in. Eliminating sources of water will help keep pests out of your home. Keep crawlspaces, attics, and basements dry and ventilated. Consider crawlspace enclosure. Use a dehumidifier in garages and basements. Make sure you have a proper drainage system installed outside your home. Install gutters and keep them clear of debris. Consider installing gutter guards to help eliminate clogs. Make sure drainpipes are diverting water away from foundations. Repair any leaks as soon as possible. Get rid of any standing water on your property.
3. Clean It Up
Pests will also be drawn to any areas of your home where they can find food. Eliminating these food sources will go a long way towards pest-proofing your home. Keep kitchen counters and appliances clean. Store food in airtight containers. Empty your trash regularly and use trashcans with lids. Clean up after each meal, making sure to not leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight. Seep, mop, and vacuum regularly. Don’t leave pet food or water out overnight.
4. Don’t Forget Outside
Some pests will lurk outside your home and use every opportunity they can to hitchhike their way inside. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from your home and inspect it carefully before bringing it indoors. Keep shrubbery trimmed and grass mowed. Don’t let any limbs or branches touch the exterior of your home. Inspect any storage boxes, decorations, etc. before bringing them inside.
If you have a problem with pests during any season of the year, contact your local pest control company for a thorough evaluation.
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During the impending cooler months, some pests will begin seeking warmth and shelter for survival. These pests, known as overwintering pests, can survive cold temperatures due to these activities. There are three common overwintering pests: stink bugs, ladybugs, and boxelder bugs. They don’t cause any harm to you or your home, but they can become a nuisance once they get inside. Let’s break them down and discover the best ways to keep them away from your home.
These armor-shaped insects are an invasive species known to release an odor when disturbed or crushed. They pose no threat to humans or the structure of your home but can become a nuisance when an infestation occurs. They feed on a variety of plants, including fruits like apples, peaches, and figs. They prefer moist, mild climates and can be found in bathrooms and kitchens.
These harmless, overwintering pests are found worldwide and have over 5,000 known species. Ladybugs have an oval, dome-shaped body with a hard-shell wing that covers their inner wings. They are deemed beneficial and consume plant-eating insects, such as aphids, mealybugs, mites, and scale insects. During the colder months, they search for warmth and shelter. They can take over your home in a matter of days and can become a major nuisance when large populations congregate.
These pests are named for feeding off maple and seed-bearing boxelder trees in the warmer months. Boxelder bugs are sneaky pests that can easily make your home theirs. These pests are oval-shaped and elongated, with a reddish black body and orange markings on their back. They are considered more assertive than other overwintering species, puncturing skin when they feel threatened. The result is similar to that of a mosquito bite, so it shouldn’t be something to worry about.
Preventing Overwintering Pests
- Seal or caulk all cracks, crevices, and holes around house foundations, siding, doors, windows, electrical, and plumbing.
- Keep the yard clean by raking, cutting grass short, and picking up debris in the yard.
- Use tight-fitting insect screens on foundations and attic vents.
If you suspect you have an overwintering pest infestation, contact a professional, local pest control company to provide you with a thorough evaluation and treatment plan.
As the season shifts from summer to early fall, cooler weather is around the corner. Many pests begin the hustle and bustle of preparing for winter – scavenging and storing food, finding a place to hibernate, or making their way into your home to overwinter. This time of year sees an increase in one pest in particular – snakes! Fall is a time for high snake activity and encounters with humans become more common.
There are many reasons snake control is important in the fall. As the leaves begin to change colors to red, orange, and brown and fall to the ground, they provide the ideal camouflage for snakes. Fall is also the time snakes begin to prepare for brumation and/or hibernation. Most snake species breed in the spring and eggs are hatched by the time autumn rolls around. These juvenile snakes are curious and more likely to be seen by humans. There are 6 venomous snake species in the southeastern United States and each of them actually breed in the fall. This means this time of year males will be actively seeking females to breed with, increasing your chance of an encounter with them. Overdevelopment in many areas has also depleted the natural habitats of many snakes, also increasing their chances of encounters with humans.
Because we see such an increase in snake activity during the fall, snake control becomes much more important. Here are some of our favorite snake prevention tips you can utilize this snake season.
- Familiarize Yourself. Identifying snakes is critical to avoiding and preventing them. Do some research and find out which snakes are common in your area, what they look like, and where to find them. Identify any areas you spend time in outdoors that could potentially house snakes and try to avoid them.
- Be Aware. Be aware of your surrounding when spending time outdoors. Look down when walking and check overhead when in wooded areas. Try to spot snakes before you walk right up on them.
- Avoid Habitats. Snakes like to hide in areas that provide them protection and coverage from predators. They can often be found in tall grass, overgrowth, on or under large rocks, rock piles, and wood piles. If you have to walk through these areas, keep your feet and legs protected, keep your eyes open
- Walk With Confidence. Snakes don’t have ears so they can’t actually hear you coming but they do respond to vibrations in the ground and can feel you coming before they actually see you. When walking outdoors walk with strong, confident steps and make your presence known.
- Cover Up. If you choose to spend time outdoors, make sure to wear closed-toe shoes and long pants if possible. Try to avoid sandals and flip flops as they leave your feet and toes exposed to potential snakebites.
- Look Up. Some types of snakes can actually climb trees and will even use overlapping branches to move from tree to tree without ever touching the ground. When walking or boating through wooded areas make sure to look up and keep an eye out for overhead snakes.
- Clean Up. Making your home and yard less inviting to snakes will help keep them from coming in. Seal any cracks and crevices on the outside of your home to keep snakes out in search of warmth and food. Remove any debris and clutter from your yard and garage. Keep woodpiles elevated and stored away from your home. Clear any overgrowth from your yard.
- Use snake repellent. There are many commercial snake repellent products on the market today. If you prefer a more green snake control option, there are also natural snake repellents you can make at home. Choose whichever option works best for you.
- Call the Pros. Snake control can be a daunting task. If you have a problem with snakes around your home, contact your local pest control company who can help identify what type of snake you are dealing with and help safely and humanely get them away from your property.
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