Generally speaking, the winter months provide some form of respite from pests, bugs, and other insects. Flying insects and pests are common during the summer and for most folks, they are fully prepared to deal with them then. Wintertime does have its pitfalls though when it comes to pest control measures homeowners should be taking because while there won’t be much of the tiny winged variety around, there is the small furry rodent variety to worry about.
It’s best to think of winter pest control in this manner. Just as we humans crave comfort and warmth from the rough elements of winters in Maine, so do pests (especially rodents). So confined, dry, and warm places are popular real estate opportunities for pests at this time of the year.
Common Winter Pests
Mice, spiders, and cockroaches are the most common pests during the winter. They love the crevices between the floorboards, between the walls, and in the gaps of a roof. These provide shelter and comfort for them and a perfect place to breed, given time.
While spiders can bite and cause a variety of reactions in humans, they largely won’t prove fatal for us. Pets though can die from a bite from certain spider types. Cockroaches, while annoying as opposed to harmful, can trigger allergies and asthma in sufferers. Mice and rats are disease carriers, particularly salmonella and Hantavirus. Mice and rats must be dealt with quickly and professionally before an infestation occurs.
Places To Watch For
One of the first things you should inspect around your home is that it is sealed up correctly. As previously mentioned, wintertime pests are craving warm and dry places so any small gaps they can get into, they will. Cracks and holes need to be plugged up, so check where your utilities and pipes are connected around your home, as these are gap hot spots. Small mice only need holes the size of a quarter to enter!
If your home has a fireplace or you enjoy outdoor fires and pits, chances are you have a woodpile in your yard. The further the pile of wood is from your home, the better. Because the wood is kept dry, it’s a convenient spot for mice to take shelter in. You don’t want to provide mice and other pests with a layover spot before trying to then enter your warm and cozy home.
Similar to the woodpile situation, pests will hide in clutter and trash if it is lying around. Keep your storage areas organized and ensure there aren’t convenient piles around for rodents and pests to hide in.
Sealing your doors and windows is helpful also in the wintertime, not just in the summer. Gaps between doors and floors can provide an open invitation to pests, especially cockroaches, so ensure doors have sweeps at their base. Repair any damaged screens on windows too.
Don’t Let Your Guard Down
A problem many homeowners run into, especially around the holidays, is with pests being attracted to food left out in the open. Remember your home has everything for pests to thrive in if you don’t take the necessary precautions. It’s warm, dry, and has food in it. Leaving food out can be a huge attraction for furry unwanted guests. Many homeowners put their food in sealable hard plastic containers in the winter months, as mice will have a great time in an improperly sealed bag of cereal left on a kitchen counter for example.
Sometimes you will notice warning signs around your home in the winter that you may have a pest problem. If the walls and ceilings have scratching and scurrying sounds coming from them, it’s best to get a pest control expert in to inspect. Also, small feces are another sure sign of a potential infestation. Look and listen for these signs and immediately call a professional if they are present.
As a final tip to consider pest-proofing your home for this upcoming winter, make sure that your roof and gutters are free of cracks and crevices. These are great places for pests and rodents to crawl into and hide out until the warmer months come along. The proximity to the home provides them with warmth and the moisture is perfect for them to breed in.
In the Central Maine area, there are no better-qualified pest control services than the team at Ants Plus. We’ll ensure your home is off the pest real estate market this winter! We are locally owned and operated and know exactly what Maine winters can throw at you, so you can trust us with pest-proofing your home.