With winter soon underway, residents of Maine have to prepare to deal with new pests that come into homes to seek shelter, food, and warmth. If not dealt with early on, winter pests can be a nuisance. They multiply quickly, making it hard to control and eliminate them from your home. And that’s why you need to take preventive measures to avoid them getting into your home in the first place.
You don’t want to deal with winter pests and their effects. Cockroaches carry diseases around your home and trigger asthma and allergies. Rodents transmit many diseases like Hantavirus, Salmonella, Tularemia and can cause extensive property damage. Spider bites, on the other hand, can cause irritations and other side effects.
Common pests that invade homes during winter
If you’re careful, you might have noticed that flying insects like mosquitoes, bees, and flies disappear during winter in Maine and its environs. This is not to mean there are no nuisance pests. Crawling insects such as cockroaches, mice, and spiders take over.
These winter insects come into your home to shield themselves from harsh weather conditions. They find your home a cozy place to hibernate. So with the wintertime underway, here are some common winter pests to watch for in Maine.
These are the first pests you’ll see in your home during winter. They come in to look for warmth, shelter, food, and water. Cockroaches thrive in moist areas, so expect to see them in your kitchen and bathroom.
The best way to eradicate cockroaches is to repair leaks, cover any pipe entry points, and always keep your gutters clean. You should also stock food in airtight containers and clean all places after use, including washing dishes, cleaning your stoves and countertops, and getting rid of the trash.
Mice and rats
Mice and rats invade your home during winter to look for warmth, shelter, and food. They come in through the smallest openings, including holes and cracks in damaged roof tile, attic, floor, and basement.
Some rodents can come in through the storage boxes you carry into your home. And one thing with rats and mice is that they reproduce fast, so you only need to carry one into your home, and you’ll be dealing with hundreds in no time.
To prevent the entry of rodents into your home, seal openings around pipes and cut hanging branches around your home. Additionally, consider installing chimney caps and covering air vents.
To stop mice and rats from thriving in your home, keep your house clean and eliminate water and food sources. Remove dirt and clutter from the attic and never leave trash in the open. Also, clean countertops, stoves, and store food in airtight containers. When storing items, plastics are preferred to cardboard.
For the most part, spiders come into your home to feed on other insects. So the best way to keep them away is to eliminate their food source by removing other insects. Sealing cracks and keeping grass and bushes around your home short is your best bet. You can also vacuum your house regularly to eliminate insects.
Other common winter pests
There are also other common winter pests you may come across in Maine. They include;
- Bed bugs
All the winter pests are destructive and are a health hazard to you and your family. As such, you would want to keep them away from your home. It is best to deal with pests early on before they increase and become hard to eliminate. So if you notice any signs of winter pest infestation, don’t hesitate to contact professional pest controllers in Maine.
Tips for winter pest-proofing
Winter pests find our homes cozy and will always look for small opportunities to get indoors. Dealing with them can be hectic, so it’s best to make your home pest-proof. Below are some tips by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) to help you keep winter pests from your home.
Seal all openings
Seal cracks and holes around your home as these are the main entry points for rodents. Also, rats like using spaces where the pipes and utilities enter your home, so cover them as well. Don’t ignore even the smallest holes, as rats can easily squeeze through holes as small as a dime.
Screen the vents and chimneys
Inspect the vent covers and confirm that they are intact. The chimneys should also have a cap to prevent the entry of animals and pests. Besides the chimney and vents, check that the attics, basement, and crawl spaces are free from moisture and are well ventilated.
Check your doors and windows
Doors and windows act as easy entry points for pests. Consider installing door sweeps, weatherstripping, replacing loose mortars, and repairing damaged windows and doors to eliminate potential entry points for pests.
Vacuuming regularly around your doors and windows should also help kill spiders, beetles, and other pests that may have entered your home.
Keep the home dry
Eliminate moisture by fixing leaking pipes, and clogged drains as most pests like cockroaches love staying in moist areas. Additionally, check that your bathroom and kitchens are free from cockroaches as that’s where they thrive.
Organize your storage well
Rodents love to hide and nest in clutter, so your storage areas are perfect targets for these pests. Organize your storage well and avoid putting items and boxes haphazardly as they create a fantastic breeding place for mice. Also, look out for signs of rodent infestation around your home and the garage and deal with them immediately.
Store firewood far from home
Pests such as mites and ants mostly stay in woodpiles and can easily make their way into your home if you keep your firewood nearby. To avoid bringing pests inside, store your firewood far from home. Ideally, you should keep the woodpiles about 20 feet away. Be sure to confirm that your firewood is free from pests before carrying it into your home.
The cold season brings harsh conditions that drive winter pests to seek refuge in your comfortable home. What’s worse, the wind, frost, and snow can damage your home, making you vulnerable to these pests. The above tips can help you keep winter pests outdoors and enjoy a healthy environment with your loved ones.
If you notice signs of pest infestation, don’t hesitate to contact a professional pest control company. At Plus Pest Control, we help residents of Maine and its surroundings deal with all kinds of pests and help make your home pest-proof.
In the Central Maine area, there is no better-qualified pest control service than our 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 or dealing with pests that have taken up residence.