By: Matthew Campbell
Yep, it’s cold out there. Snow’s on the ground. Icicles hang from eaves. It’s officially winter.
Around this time of year, a lot of people inquire about the usefulness of pest control. All the pests are dead, aren’t they?
Well, not exactly. If they all died then we wouldn’t have an issue with them in the spring. So where are they?
Many pests, like spiders, do die off when it gets cold, but only after laying their eggs in safe areas, including areas around your home. Some, like wood roaches and queen wasps, will hibernate under tree bark and rocks. Then there are those who invade your warm home either to hibernate or to stay safe and eat your food.
Here are 5 common pests that love a warm home as much as you:
1.) Mice are not often seen in the house right away. They’re mostly heard scratching and gnawing in the walls or in the ceiling at night because they’re nocturnal. Their presence is also noticed by the droppings they leave behind when they forage. Although they’re small, mice can be a big problem. They contaminate food, spread disease, and chew on wires, which can lead to house fires. Definitely not a pest you want in your home in the winter.
2.) Cluster Flies, unlike blow flies, are not attracted to trash or food. In fact, right now is the only time they want to be in your home. Cluster flies push their way indoors in the fall and get their name by how they cluster together in wall voids, eaves, and attic spaces. If you’ve ever noticed a fly buzzing around inside on a warm winter day, that’s because there are more hibernating elsewhere. They become a huge nuisance in the spring when they die all over the house and make a mess.
3.) Stink Bugs are a recent issue in the Northeast. They’re mostly a concern for farmers since they attack fruit trees, vegetables, and other plants. In the fall and throughout the winter, they are a nuisance to homeowners after they come inside. Stink bugs get their name from the potent odor they give off, especially in large groups. That awful smell may not be a dead mouse after all.
4.) Ants will also enjoy the warmth of your home in the winter, especially carpenter ants. Typically, there needs to be an already established nest inside the house. Carpenter ants nest in wood, including in doors and windows. Pavement ants and little black ants nest in walls and in cracks around the foundation. During the winter, ants hibernate in their nests. If there’s a warm stretch in the winter, and you see a few walking sluggishly in the open, then you know there’s a nest in your house.
5.) Wildlife, like gray squirrels, flying squirrels, and raccoons do not hibernate during the winter. They do like to bunker down in warm attics as it gets cold outside. When they do, they can tear holes in soffits, rip up insulation, and make a mess with their ‘leave-behinds’ that can stink up the place and attract other unpleasant pests. If you hear noises in the attic, it may not be mice. Read this article to help you determine the culprit.
You have to admit that it’s nice to snuggle up inside on a cold winter day. Warm up some cocoa, turn on Netflix, and enjoy the company of friends and family. But it’s important to consider pest control during the winter months, or to continue your current pest control service. Having this service will ensure that there are no unwanted guests multiplying in the walls, and it will also help prevent an even bigger problem come spring.
Every season brings a new threat from pests. Be prepared. Modern Pest Services offers a HomeCare Green Program for year-round pest protection, as well as Wildlife, Termite, Mosquito, Tick, and Bed Bug Control Services. 1-800-323-7378.