These are the Most Common Winter Pests and How to Get Rid of Them
We’re willing to bet that a mouse infestation isn’t on your holiday wish list this year, and rightfully so. While your house might be a tempting warm hideaway for pests during the cold winter months, it doesn’t have to be with the right preventative measures. This list of tips for pest control in the winter will help you keep the winter blues away and rodents at bay this season.
Tips for Pest Control in the Winter
You know the saying, “If you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to ask for a glass of milk”? The best thing you can do to avoid harboring a family of mice in winter is making sure you’re not inviting them in via food sources. Anything edible is fair game to these opportunistic winter pests, including birdseed, trash and the ever-common kitchen floor crumbs.
How to keep mice out of your house in winter:
Keep your indoor spaces as tidy as possible (a seasonal deep cleaning list is the best prevention) to avoid accidentally welcoming these furry critters inside your home. Additionally, perform regular perimeter inspections to check for holes, cracks and other easy entry points that need to be sealed off.
Similar to mice, these pests love to sneak in for a winter warm-up through open gaps, cracks and holes along the exterior, windows and foundation of your home.
How to prevent rats in your house in winter:
Make a plan before it gets too cold to seal off all entry points and let them know your house isn’t a winter hideaway. Rats can squeeze through surprisingly narrow openings. Another rodent control tip that many home and pet owners forget is making sure dog and cat food is sealed tightly, these are gourmet treats for rats during the colder months.
Since bed bugs don’t die off or hibernate during the winter months like other pests, you need to take proper measures to ensure they don’t take up residence in your home. Unfortunately, a lot of what we do during the winter (staying indoors, turning up the heat, adding warmer bed sheets) are even more inviting to these pests. One plus is that they are not as active when it’s cold and are less likely to travel or seek new hosts. This means it’s the perfect time to contact a pest control expert like Plunkett’s for a seasonal treatment.
How to prevent bed bugs in winter:
Additionally, adding a bed bug-proof protective mattress bag and spraying items like winter bedding, coats and outdoor gear with a water and essential oil solution (tea tree, cinnamon, clove and peppermint are all fair game) is another prevention tactic. If you do notice bed bugs, call Plunkett’s right away before your bed bug infestation can spread.
Sadly, spiders aren’t just decor during the spooky season. House spiders in winter still give most of us a fright. Spiders don’t hibernate but some go into diapause and can even survive freezing temperatures by producing an “antifreeze” in their tissue. Other species of spiders die in the fall but leave behind eggs that hatch during the spring thaw. Resourceful spiders will find shelter in warm places like your home. Don’t worry, there are ways to keep them out.
How to prevent spiders in the house in winter:
First, a natural cleaning solution of white vinegar, water and citrus peels is a two-punch spider repellent that can be used safely to clean most surfaces of your home (especially the kitchen and bathroom.) Spiders are sensitive to the acid in both and will avoid it at all costs. Secondly, if you’ll be using your fireplace a lot these winter months, make sure to keep your firewood outside as it’s a perfect nesting spot for most types of spiders.
Flies usually die off during the fall but every now and then you might find a winter fly infestation in your home. Where do winter flies come from? It’s likely from either dormant flies that have hidden in a quiet area like a basement or a batch of eggs that managed to hatch and survive to adulthood.
How to get rid of cluster flies in winter:
To prevent pods of cluster flies in the winter, your best bet is to caulk up all crevices around your windows, doors, utility pipes, and behind chimneys. Flies will squeeze through any small opening to seek out a warm space to ride out the winter weather so pest proofing your home is a must. Thankfully, this type of house fly doesn’t lay eggs or breed indoors, so they are more of a nuisance than anything. Vacuum up flies as you find them or use fly paper to trap them.
Just like with summer fruit fly infestations, these winter pests only want you for your food sources. Fruit flies have an uncanny ability to seek out rotting fruit and other sweet rotting organic material, and they’ll do anything to get a piece of it.
How to prevent fruit flies in winter:
Cutting off access to their food supply is your best way to prevent a winter fruit fly infestation. If you’re already dreaming of warmer weather, it’s a good idea to clean your drains now while these pests are less prevalent to make sure it’s not the perfect place for them to start breeding when spring arrives. Additionally, keep your trash bins covered and remove waste often.
Do I Need Winter Pest Control?
When seasons change and temperatures drop, pests seek indoor lodgings. If your house is vulnerable, you could unexpectedly find yourself facing a winter pest infestation. If these pesky critters are putting a damper on your cozy winter plans, Plunkett’s is here for you year-round. We’re just a phone call away to help with all your winter pest control issues.