Roaches, spiders and mice, oh my!

Winter is a season when pest problems change. The cold weather outside ends the seasons of many outdoor pests and with that many believe the problems are gone. However, it just changes things a bit. Structure threatening pests like carpenter ants and termites can continue doing damage throughout the winter in the warm parts of your home. Years ago, when we put an addition on our own home, the contractors uncovered a nest of carpenter ants in the outside corner of the roof/ceiling that was at least 2000 ants and had been there for several years. The ants had rarely been seen in the house, and only during the summer.

Cold weather changes the game for homeowners. Now the wonderful warm and plentiful outdoors are no longer competition. Your home is the only game in town. Spiders and mice, squirrels, and other bugs will seek your home’s warmth to outlast the cold. Too boot, winter brings on much more activity in the home, which can lead to more opportunity for bugs to live and flourish.

Although it’s important to keep a home clean to discourage unwanted pests, during winter, it’s even more important. Pests don’t have anywhere else to go once in your home. Here are a few pointers to help you keep the pests at bay:

  1. Try to leave your kitchen clean and dry every night before you go to bed. Roaches, ants, and mice prefer the undisturbed atmosphere of the night to forage and eat. Crumbs and water left in the sink are a welcome meal to sustain their unwanted presence.
  2. Work on keeping clutter in the home to a minimum. Winter weather leads to much more activity inside for many families resulting in a higher risk of clutter. One person leaving something out is one thing, but if 3 or 4 people leave something out, it only takes a day or two before pests have many places to hide and nest.
  3. Inspect the outside of your home for entry points that have been used by mice, squirrels or rats. You may see a spot where they chewed an opening larger to gain entry and the dirty grime trail they leave behind from their coats. You may see an area of droppings.
  4. Vacuum frequently and remove garbage regularly. More activity inside during winter months tends to build up circumstances that invite pests more often. Reducing the ability for pest harborage is a great defense.
  5. Spiders! Yuck! If you can, store clothes, shoes, and items used infrequently in plastic storage containers. Pay special attention to items used infrequently as spiders tend to find places like that to hunker down in, like shoes, closets, or drawers not opened often. If you find yourself in a spider encounter and you think you got bitten, try to save the spider and seek medical attention.

Winter can be a wonderful time of year, and with some simple actions, your home can be enjoyed pest free. But if you find yourself in a situation with unwanted freeloaders that have 4, 6, or 8 legs, we can help. Call Garfield Pest Control for a FREE consultation and Free estimate.