It’s a common misconception that just because the temperatures have dropped, so has your risk of a pest invasion. In fact, many animals can live through frigid temperatures, as long as they find a safe, warm shelter with access to food.
And where might they find such conditions?
In your home or business, naturally!
Read on to learn more about the three types of animals and insects that are the most likely to move indoors as they seek refuge from the cold this winter.
Mice or rats
Perhaps the most common winter invader, you might not need to see a mouse to know you’ve got a problem. Often mice infestations are identified by droppings or tears or gnaw marks on packaged goods and in cupboards.
Mice and rats leave similar tracks, but there are a few noticeable differences. Rats tend to leave bigger messes than mice – in part due to their larger size and because they are less picky when it comes to what they will eat. In addition, rats’ teeth grow at an extremely fast rate which causes them to gnaw constantly. If you’ve ever see gnaw marks in your electrical wires, there is a good possibility you have rats in or around your home.
The biggest concern with this type of winter pest is the bacterial danger to humans and other animals alike. Mice and rats can pass infectious diseases like hantavirus and salmonella through bites or exposure to their droppings.
Stink bugs are a small gray-brown bug shaped like a shield. You might find them clinging to your curtains or lights, or leaving a strong, unpleasant smell after being crushed (hence their name).
Stink bugs can do little damage during the winter, but come Spring they will be a serious threat to your trees, shrubs, and vines, tree fruits, blackberries, corn, beans, tomatoes, peppers, soybeans, and other crops. They’ve been known to “eat more than 50 different vegetation varieties,” according to The Spruce.
While stink bugs are relatively harmless, they can be a pain to get rid of. Due to their small mouths and unique eating style, pesticides don’t always work. Your best bet for controlling and preventing stink bugs is to contact a professional.
You’ve probably heard the myth that cockroaches could survive a nuclear bomb, a testament to their hardy outer shell, open circulatory system, and long lifespan. While that statement might be a bit of an exaggeration, it is true that they can be one of the trickiest insects to control.
Like stink bugs, cockroaches will come inside to find shelter, food, and water during the cold winter months. Lack of access to water is an especially good roach deterrent: According to Pestworld, “Because they are cold-blooded, cockroaches can live without food for one month, but will only survive one week without water.”
There are serious health and safety risks associated with a cockroach infestation, so they are one winter pest you won’t want to think twice about eliminating.
Tips for preventing unwelcome winter pests
There are some simple measures you can take to help prevent a winter pest infestation. Seal off entryways and repair any cracks that might have formed around your doors, windows, basements, pipes and chimneys. Make sure you use a moisture-proof polyurethane or silicone caulk in the winter.
If you are already dealing with one of these pesky pests in your home or business, you should find a reputable pest control specialist like the experts at Bain, who can help protect your residence from further invasions.
For more information on pest control in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and the greater New England region, contact us today.