“To every thing there is a season,” says the Bible. But in the world of pests, there are critters for all seasons! And each one rears its ugly head in its own favorite months.
In winter, most folks feel lucky to get a breather from the ubiquitous summer pests – flies, mosquitoes, ticks – and might want to pull back on their pest control management. Nothing could be further from the truth! Cold months are when pests come indoors to get food, shelter and water. And it’s also the best time to check your lawn for pests and weeds and treat your yard for a better spring and summer.
In the pest department, cockroaches, rodents and termites are among the unsavory pests that will commonly show up in your house to take refuge:
- Cockroaches – With more than 70 species of cockroaches in the world, there are some who like to live outdoors and others that have their bags packed to move in with you during the winter months. Cockroaches can cause multiple health-related issues, from asthma attacks to allergic reactions. They spread nasty bacteria, including those that cause E. coli and Salmonella, and they can contaminate your food as they secrete waste and/or saliva.
- Rodents – Nearly half of all rodent issues take place during the fall and winter, according to the National Pest Management Association, as rats and mice move indoors. Because rodents are known to spread at least 35 diseases, some of them serious, it’s important to be proactive to help prevent a winter infestation. Overwintering rodents can also cause extensive damage to your home. Gnawed electrical wires can pose a dangerous fire hazard, while chewed water lines can cause leaks or even flooding. Rats and mice also cause considerable damage to insulation through tunneling, by tearing it apart for nesting materials or due to contamination from feces.
- Termites – While homeowners may feel like they can relax a little and not worry so much about a destructive termite infestation during the colder months of the year, a false sense of security can be both dangerous and costly. Termites are not like other insects, and even though they are certainly not as active as they are in other seasons, they aren’t dormant in winter either. When temperatures drop, termites retreat to their nests to ride out the freezing cold and continue to use underground tunnels to move between nests and buildings. They can remain active throughout the winter season, feeding on the cellulose of wooden structures as long as their three major needs are met; namely, wood, water and warmth.
So don’t bug out of protecting your home from pests in the winter. Take this time to prepare for the warm months ahead. Call a qualified pest control professional for advice and treatment if necessary.