Laurens Pest Control: Common Winter Pests
During the winter season, we don’t typically see a lot of pests around, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t present! Certain wildlife pests tend to look towards our Laurens home to escape the cold, causing damage and posing a health risk in the process. For homeowners, it’s important to understand the types of winter pests that could invade and the winter pest control methods needed to keep them out. Check out our top 3 winter pests to look out for in Laurens, South Carolina.
During the winter, cockroaches enter our homes to search for heat and humidity. Common roaches found in homes are American roaches, oriental roaches, and brown-banded roaches. These pests can pose a serious health risk to humans, as they’re known to transmit diseases and trigger allergies and asthma. Roaches will utilize any open gap or hole to find their way inside homes. These pests will also hitchhike on grocery bags, boxes, and used appliances. You will often find them in areas where food and water are available, such as our kitchens and bathrooms.
Termites are year-round pests and will destroy the structural integrity of homes. The damage termites can cause will often cost billions in repairs. Termites, such as subterranean termites, will eat the wood from the inside out, usually staying hidden until the damage is done. These termite types need soil to live, creating mud tubes to search for a food source. Firewood and mulch are two major attractants to termites and will provide a way inside your home. If they’ve infested, you can often find them in the home’s baseboards, crawlspaces, and wooden beams.
Silverfish prefer to live in damp, colder places. These pests are quite common in the winter months and are often found in basements or bathrooms. If they’ve gained access to your living space, it’s usually because they’ve hitched a ride when you’ve taken items out of storage in your garage or attic. While these pests are harmless to humans, if they infest in large numbers, they can become a nuisance. Silverfish will feed on your books, glue, wallpaper, and boxes.
Preventing Winter Pests
There are several methods and preventative measures you can implement to keep these pests from invading your home! Consider these winter pest control tips when you want to keep these pests away:
- Seal any holes, cracks, or gaps around your home
- Avoid leaving your pet food and water out overnight
- Clean up leftover food crumbs and spills
- Fix any leaky faucets or pipes found as soon as possible
- Avoid leaving your dirty dishes in the sink overnight
- Take your garbage out on a regular basis and utilize a trashcan with a tightly secure lid
- Remove old newspapers, mail, and cardboard that is laying around your home
- Inspect boxes, groceries, and used furniture before entering your home
- If you utilize mulch, place it at least 20 feet away from your foundation
- Consider reaching out to your pest control company to get a customized plan to prevent pests year-round
Despite our best wishes, pests don’t just disappear when the weather gets cold. Winter pest control becomes critical to keeping your house protected during the season. Overwintering pests will make their way indoors to escape the cold and have access to a plentiful food supply. Common overwintering pests include roaches, spiders, and rodents.
Overwintering pests pose a threat to both you and your home. They can chew through wires and insulation, contaminate surfaces and food, spread diseases, and trigger allergies and asthma.
Help protect your home with these 14 tips for winter pest control:
- Seal any cracks, crevices, and holes on the exterior of your home.
- Seal around utility pipes that enter your home.
- Replace or repair weatherstripping and screens.
- Elevate your firewood and store it at least 20 feet from your home.
- Declutter, especially in the basement, garage, and attic.
- Repair any leaky pipes to reduce moisture.
- Keep gutters free of debris.
- Install doorsweeps.
- Install chimney vents.
- Keep attics, crawlspaces, and basements dry and ventilated. Consider crawlspace enclosure.
- Keep floors and counters clean daily.
- Dust, sweep, and vacuum regularly.
- Empty the trash regularly.
- Invest in routine pest control throughout the entire year.
If you have a problem with winter pests, contact your local pest control company for a complete evaluation and treatment plan.
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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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The holiday season is a time to enjoy family, eat delicious food, and not worry about pests! Unfortunately, overwintering pests such as spiders, rodents, ants, ticks, and more are looking indoors for food, water, and shelter. During the holiday season, Christmas trees, wreaths, firewood, decorations, and storage boxes provide the ideal opportunity for these pests to hitchhike inside.
Check out our top 3 pest prevention tips for holiday pest control.
Check Your Decorations
Attics, basements, and garages provide perfect storage spaces for our holiday decorations. These areas in your home are dark and secluded, making them the perfect place for pests to invade. Stored decorations provide an undisturbed hiding place for pests such as mice, rats, spiders, and more. These creatures will often crawl into the storage boxes you put away last season, contaminating and destroying your decorations.
To ensure that you do not bring these pests into your main living space, inspect and unpack these items outside first. After the holiday season has ended, pack your decorations like foliage, potpourri, and Indian corn in air-tight containers to help prevent pests for next year.
Check Your Firewood
With colder weather here, many homeowners start utilizing their fireplace, bringing in more firewood from outside. However, it’s crucial to inspect firewood before bringing it inside the home. Pests like spiders, termites, and ants are often found on firewood. Consider placing the firewood outside 20 feet from your home and on a raised platform.
Check Your Christmas Tree & Wreaths
If your family celebrates Christmas, you might opt to buy a real Christmas tree and wreath. While both can showcase the authentic look of Christmas, they also tend to carry pests such as spiders, moths, mites, and even squirrels!
To prevent these unwanted pests from hitchhiking indoors, inspect both items outside and then shake them. Also, check these items for any droppings, gnaw marks, or other damage before bringing them inside.
If you suspect that you have a holiday pest problem, consider reaching out to your local pest control company. These professionals will be able to inspect your home, provide the best pest control plan, and recommend prevention techniques for your home.
Rodents are one of the most resourceful pests when it comes to getting into your home. Mice and rats can squeeze through the tiniest cracks to gain access and they require very little space to travel inside. Rodents seek shelter indoors, especially during the fall and winter months as they go in search of warmth, food and water. While a rodent sighting can be scary enough, these pests also pose serious hazards to your home and your health. They can gnaw through cardboard, paper, and even electrical wires, putting you at risk for fires. They are known to carry bacteria, like salmonella and hantavirus, and can contaminate your food, kitchen surfaces, and other areas of your home. Even rodent droppings are dangerous – helping spread these pathogens to you and your family.
The first step in rodent control in and around your home is to prevent them from getting inside in the first place. Here are 10 easy tips you can use for preventing mice and rats:
- Use doorsweeps and screens on windows and doors. Make sure to keep them in good repair and replace them when needed.
- Use screens on vents and chimneys, as well.
- Seal up any cracks and holes on the exterior of your home with caulk or steel wool, especially around utility pipes.
- Store food in airtight containers. Make sure to empty your trash often.
- Clean up any spills and crumbs immediately. Don’t leave food out overnight, including pet food. Sweep, mop, and vacuum on a regular basis.
- Keep basements, crawlspaces, and attics clean, decluttered and dry. Use plastic storage containers instead of cardboard when possible.
- Check foundations and windows and replace any loose mortar and weatherstripping.
- Check for sources of moisture and eliminate them (e.g. leaky pipes, clogged drains, clogged gutters). Make sure downspouts are directing water away from foundations. Consider installing a gutter guard system.
- Inspect everything before bringing it into your home including grocery bags, boxes, packages, furniture, and appliances.
- Keep piles of firewood elevated off the ground and at least 20 feet from your home. Keep grass mowed and shrubbery trimmed back so it isn’t touching the house.
If you do find signs of rodents in your home, best practice is to remove them and prevent re-entry as soon as possible. This is best accomplished by a professional pest control company who can not only eliminate the nuisance pests, but help identify nesting sites and points of entry to help prevent reinfestation in the future.
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