Winter months bring with them milder temperatures and darker days. And they also bring pests. Insects, bugs, and rodents all begin their search for a place to hide when the temperatures begin to drop. These top five are some of the more common pests to watch out for this winter: Bed Bugs, Stink Bugs, Crazy Ants, Mice, and Roaches.
Here’s the rundown of these pests and what you can do about them:
These critters have re-established themselves in a national outbreak in recent years. Likely due to a continual increase in travel and movement, bed bugs grab a ride wherever they can and move around the world. Even the cleanest of five star hotels can be a host if someone has previously brought them in, so beware when you travel. Keep an eye out everywhere you go when you travel over the holiday months, which will help to refrain from dragging these annoying creatures back into your home.
If you do acquire bedbugs, you’ll likely begin experiencing bites on the skin in places that are exposed during sleep. Further inspection may show signs of bed bugs nesting (dark or rusty excrement, egg shells, shed skin, blood stains, or an offensive odor) on your sheets, the edges of your mattress, walls, or around other soft furniture. Bedbug infestations almost always require professional pest control services and should be handled immediately upon discovery.
Read more: Bed Bug Prevention During Holiday Travel
Found in more than 2/3 of the United States, stink bugs are drawn into areas by crops but like to move into homes when they need a warm place to survive the winter. They may turn up on sunny sides of the home or near windows to warm themselves. The name of the stinkbug comes from the fact that these pests use odor as a defense mechanism. Keep them out of your home by making sure cracks and crevices are sealed. If you discover an infestation of stink bugs, a pest control professional can help you eliminate or prevent them through exterior treatments or interior traps.
Commonly found in the southern parts of the United States, crazy ants have a tendency to move in and infest in massive colonies. They can be so prolific and wild in their movements that it looks like the pavement is moving—but really it’s just covered in crazy ants. These ants can move in through flowers brought in from nurseries, hay bales, or even sneaking in from nearby homes who already have infestations. Detection often happens by visually spotting them trailing to and from outdoor nests, or foraging for food and water indoors.
Because they dwell both indoors and outdoors, crazy ants can be one of the more difficult species of pests to control. Cutting off food, water sources, and entrance points is a good place to start. If you notice evidence of crazy ants on your property or a neighboring one, contact a pest control service for inspection and to provide advice for prevention or extermination as needed.
Although they can find their way into your home at any time of the year, mice are particularly interested in infesting your home in the winter because they are looking for somewhere warm to live. Mice can find tiny entrances into your home through holes, cracks, or gaps as small as a pencil width. Rodent control is a critical part of getting your home ready for winter. Filling in cracks and other entry points should help to prevent an infestation.
Mice are nocturnal creatures who can sometimes be heard rooting around at night. If you are seeing mice or hearing them during the day, it is likely that you have the makings of a severe infestation as they don’t come out unless they have to. Contact a rodent control specialist for help with rodent extermination or prevention.
Read more: [Infographic] Mice Fact or Fiction
Keeping roaches away during winter months can be difficult as, just like so many other pests, they want to move indoors as the weather gets chilly. Roaches are well known for their ability to carry disease and germs wherever they go. Maintaining a tidy home, removing sources of water, and sealing up the ability for them to get in may help to prevent roach infestations. Ultimately, a long term roach control plan is the most effective way to eliminate the risks associated with these filthy creatures.
Stinkbugs, bed bugs, crazy ants, cockroaches, and mice are just a few of the many pests who are looking for a warm place to nest this winter. And they may find that place to be inside your home or on your property! For the best in Houston Pest Control, contact Cypress Creek to keep your home safe and pest-free—during the winter months and all throughout the year.