When the temperature drops below zero and the earth is veiled in white, we can all agree that nothing quite beats the feeling of basking in the warmth of your sanctuary.
Unfortunately, we’re probably not the only ones who feel that way. It just so happens that your sanctuary also happens to be… theirs.
Prepare yourself for uninvited guests, because wintertime isn’t a pest-free time. If you thought the cold would send the pests away to some distant land far beyond your home, like say, Mexico, think again. They don’t just fly south during the winter, nor do they all just drop dead and magically re-appear again during the summer. Pests need shelter too, you know! And your home probably looks awfully inviting when everywhere else looks and feels cold and unappealing.
Here are some of the common pests that could be eyeing up your home in the cold months, followed by a few tips on how to prevent them from invading.
Household Pest #1: House Mice
House mice absolutely love moving into your humble abode during the winter. They tend to nest in dark, secluded areas of your residence, such as your attic or your basement. The warmth, shelter from the snow, and abundance of food your home provides makes it their number one getaway spot for the cold season.
House mice may be cute and tiny, but they can deliver some serious property damage. They’re capable of chewing through drywall and wires with ease. They’re also potential carriers of several diseases like Salmonella and tape worms, so you probably don’t want to be sharing your space and food with these pipsqueaks.
Keep an eye out for tiny droppings, gnaw marks, and rummaged food. Also, try to seal any cracks and openings on the outside of your home with caulk or steel wool.
And while this may be easier said than done, do your best to keep your basement and attic clutter-free! Playing hide n’ seek with these annoying little rodents is no way to spend your cozy time indoors!
Household Pest #2: Cockroaches
Come on now, let’s be honest – did you really think a bit of snow would stop these creepy crawlies from scuttling into your home? We mean, they HAVE existed for approximately 350 million years, fending off the worst that Mother Nature (and humans) could throw at them! They’ve survived the Ice Age, and all kinds of other catastrophic disasters. In essence, they’re one of the most common pests found throughout the world, and there’s very little that can shake them away.
Cockroaches can squirm through the smallest openings and crawl through impossibly tiny gaps around doors and windows. Being the wily hitch-hikers that they are, cockroaches will most likely be entering your sanctuary by latching onto second-hand items and groceries you bring in from outside. And since they love small areas that are within an antenna-reach of food and moisture, once they’ve settled in, they’re in it for the long haul.
Pay close attention to activities around your kitchen and bathroom, because that’s likely where they’ll be. Keep your counters and floors clean, and free of food scraps – especially under your sinks and appliances!
Household Pest #3: Bed Bugs
Speaking of hitch-hikers…
During the winter months, it’s common for people to travel around more often. This especially holds true in Canada, where winters can be quite cold and unbearable for many.
Unfortunately, that means bed bugs will be cashing in on those frequent flyer miles as well. They’re world-class hitch-hikers that spread by latching onto clothing, luggage, purses, and people.
Check under the sheets and mattresses for bed bugs and dark blood spots. And when you get back from a trip, make sure you clean your clothes and luggage very thoroughly. Before you even bring them into the house, clean and sanitize your luggage and belongings in the garage, otherwise you just might wake up to some unwanted guests in your bed.
Household Pest #4: Box Elder Bugs
These overwintering pests probably won’t find your home to be an ideal living environment. But even so, it’s a thousand times better than being outside in the freezing cold where they’d turn into popsicles!
Box elder bugs tend to gather on exterior walls of dwellings, attics, or wall voids during the fall, where they’ll congregate and multiply their numbers. And once winter comes, the warm and cozy atmosphere of your home makes it hard for them to resist scuttling into your living space. That’s why the winter season’s the prime infestation time for these annoying pests!
In order to prevent them from breaching your fortress of solitude, try to seal any exterior cracks and crevices. Look out for any nearby box elder or maple trees, which they tend to reside in. And try to keep tree branches trimmed so that they don’t touch or come near the structure of your home.
Extermination Isn’t Easy
Once you spot any of these pests inside your home, don’t rely on do-it-yourself sprays and traps to get rid of them. While you may be able to get rid of a large number of them using Band-Aid solutions, there’s a strong chance they’ll return in droves if proper, precautionary measures aren’t taken to keep them out for good.
Your best bet is getting the professionals involved for a truly permanent and effective extermination!
Terminix Canada has provided superior pest management services all over Canada for over 90 years. If you’re having an issue with these winter household pests, or any other pest control problems, we specialize in fast and environmentally-friendly pest control services. For more information regarding our pest management and control services, or how to prevent bed bugs, get in touch today!