Take Precautions Against a Variety of Abnormally Active Pests This Winter
By this time last year, we had already seen multiple inches of snowfall and had solid streaks of freezing temps. This year, it’s quite the opposite. Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure you would all agree, it’s been nice to have that warm extension! It’s definitely causing our plants, trees, and bugs to get all out of whack though.
Do Bugs Die in the Winter?
Normally, when Old Man Winter arrives, some pests go into hibernation while others move indoors in search of food and warmth away from the impending snowy weather. Because the Old Man took his sweet time coming around this year, bugs and rodents of many species are just now hunkering down into nooks and crannies out of the elements. Does this mean the Spring will be like the plague? We’re not sure yet, but we’re encouraging homeowners to brush up on some tips to protect their home from a variety of overwintering pests during the next few months.
“Many people are under the impression that pests don’t cause problems in the winter,” said Jeff Beallis, Branch Manager for Rose’s Lombard location. “However, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, when it is cold and snowy outside, rodents, wild animals and small pests are forced to seek shelter in warm structures, which often include our homes.” And we’ve had reports of some bizarre activity this season, especially on days that the sun is shining bright. Certain insects like the boxelder bug, stink bug, and Asian beetles like to bask in the full sun, which is why you’ll see them creep out of hiding on the south and west sides of a building on a really sunny day.
How to Protect Against Overwintering Pests
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) suggests following this simple pest prevention guide to avoid an overwintering pest infestation this winter.
Rats: Norway rats can fit through an opening as small as a quarter. To keep these rodents from sneaking into the home unnoticed, inspect the outside of the home for any gaps or cracks and fill them with silicone caulk and steel wool.
Mice: House mice are known to contaminate food, spread disease and cause property damage by chewing through drywall and wires. Homeowners should be aware of any scurrying sounds in walls and regularly inspect for signs of mice, such as droppings, gnaw marks and damaged food.
Spiders: Many types of spiders are found inside items, such as shoes, gloves and baseball mitts, that aren’t used as frequently as other things around the house. People should store these items inside plastic containers to prevent spiders from crawling inside.
Cockroaches: German cockroaches prefer to live in small areas close to food and moisture, which is why they are commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms. As such, homeowners should keep their counters and floors clean, vacuum frequently and dispose of garbage on a regular basis.
Raccoons: This type of wild animal occasionally enters homes through attics or chimneys in search of a denning site. Homeowners should install a mesh cover or cap over chimneys and other exposed openings to prevent entry. It’s also a good idea to install door sweeps and repair damaged screens in windows.