You may think that pest problems only occur in the long warm days of the summer months however, this is not the case. Although pests tend to be more active during the summer, insects in particular there are many pests that still cause a nuisance in the winter months! Rodents are what you should be on the lookout for as they like a warm cosy place to hibernate or hide from the cold weather and your home is the perfect place.
Winter Pests to Look Out For
Rats and Mice – These rodents will find shelter in your or business in the winter to shelter from the cold and have easy access to food. Rats and mice will eat almost anything so look out for holes in food packaging, as this may be a sign that one or more of these rodents have found their way into your home. They can also cause quite a lot of damage around your home to walls and cables as they gnaw away to keep their ever-growing teeth trimmed down. Rats have the capability to chew through brick and even ½-inch thick sheet meatal!
Squirrels – Although some may find squirrels cute and cuddly when taking a walk through the park, if they find their way into your attic then they can cause all manner of problems due to their excessive gnawing. They will chew through utility cables and can even cause structural damage to roof joists. Squirrels can be quite aggressive if you are trying to remove them. There are many laws surrounding the treatment of squirrels so it is best to contact a pest control specialist if you find you have a squirrel infestation.
Flies and Cockroaches – Although you are less likely to see these insects outside during the winter months they can be found indoors in large numbers as they are attracted to the warmth. They are both capable of spreading dirt and diseases so are even more of a problem in service industry businesses such as restaurants and hospitals.
Wasps and Hornets – You may not think of these as winter pests and technically, they are not. However, it is important to bare in mind that although all the drones die off in the autumn the queen does not, instead she looks for a warm, dry place to hibernate over winter, usually in sheds or attics. When the weather starts to warm up the queen will start chewing up wood to make the first few combs of the nest to lay her eggs in to grow the colony! If this happens then by spring you will have a full-blown wasp nest to deal with that seemed to appear over night but in actual fact has been in the process of being built for a long time.
How to Keep Winter Pests Out
There’s a few things you should do to help your chances of keeping your home pest free over winter.
· Firstly, check around your property or business to make sure there are no small hole that can be used as access points, if you do find any make sure they are properly sealed to limit access to your property in the first place.
· You can make your property less of a target for pests by ensuring that bins, especially ones containing food waste or correctly sealed and stored a good distance from your property.
· Avoid leaving food on worktops or pet food on the floor as this is appealing to rodents.
· Lastly check spaces that are left unused for long periods of time frequently for signs of an infestation so you can catch the problem a soon as possible.