11/14/17
Some pests hibernate, sure. Others fly somewhere warm, true. But what about the rest? There are a lot of pests, and unfortunately--for us, and them--they can’t all get away during the winter. But of course, like us, they have to do something to keep warm. Unfortunately, they have many of the ideas that we do… ideas like staying nice and toasty inside your house! As trying as winter can be, it’ll be considerably worse if you have to put up with pest roommates all season. They eat your food, wreck your stuff, never clean up after themselves, and have the ability to leave your toilet roll empty! And you probably get enough of that from your human roommates. Here are four pests you should watch for this winter and, of course, how to keep them out.

Rodents

rats may try to get into your home this winterRats and mice sense changes in weather very quickly, and react just as quickly. Rodents can feel relatively subtle changes in air temperature and pressure. They can even “feel out” drafts caused by hot air leaking out of homes and track them back to their source. Rodents are notorious for their ability to sneak through very small gaps. Mice can fit through holes no larger than a dime! The best way to keep rodents out of your home this winter is to locate and patch up cracks and crevices where drafts can occur. Starting from the basement, look for any signs of escaping air. Try to see slivers of light near the foundation, window wells, insulation, or siding. Feel for patches of cold air near the walls, especially by where utility lines enter the home. Make sure your window and door’s weatherproofing is solid and effective.

Bed bugs

Bed bugs are a particularly bad pest problem during the holiday seasonUnfortunately, the Holiday season tends to be “the most wonderful time of the year” for bed bugs, too. The upsetting pest loves to tag along with unsuspecting travelers, finding new beds to infest as they go. They’re practically built to be stowaways: they’re tiny, flat, dark, quiet, and they love to cling to things. Worst of all, they stay still for days at a time. If they’re hiding in something that’s being transported, they’re along for the ride. Prevent a bed bug infestation this winter by carefully checking the things you bring into and out of your home. Bed bugs love hiding in dark, confined, warm places. Beds are perfect for them, but so are suitcases, bags, and clothing items. When travelling, keep bags closed, sealed and off the ground. When you get home, double-check all the stuff you travelled with before you bring it in. Run clothing through the dryer, even if you didn’t wear it.  

Termites

Termites may stay active in homes over the winterUp here in the Midwest, the myths surrounding termites tend to be as damaging as the pest itself. First of all: yes, termites can live this far North. Every state in the US is susceptible to termite infestation. Second: termites do not hibernate during the winter. Finally: termites do not die out in the winter. While it’s true that they can’t survive winter weather, they won’t have to if they’re already inside. Termite infestations that started in summer or fall will continue to do damage through winter. Termites infest places where they can get the things they need: food, water, and shelter. The wood-consuming pest gets dehydrated very easily. It needs to infest wood that’s either moist or at least near some source of moisture. Termites also tend to infest wood that’s already been damaged. Look for plumbing leaks, especially in dark areas of your home. Replace any wooden siding or frames that have been damaged.

Spiders

Spiders need shelter to survive the winterDifferent kinds of spiders react to winter in different ways. Unfortunately, “house spiders” react to it exactly the way you’d expect. Most of these spiders move into homes looking for places to stay warm. They build their webs near access points, so they can catch other insects trying to access your home. You’ll usually find spider webs near window or door frames, in dark corners, near the ceiling, or in rafters. Spiders are usually excellent climbers, which means they can access openings most terrestrial pests can’t. Your spiders may have crawled along walls to access high windows or even cracks in roofing tiles. They tend to build webs in areas where they won’t be disturbed, such as the attic or basement. Vacuum up webs as you find them, and dispose of the bag when you’re finished. Check near webs to find places where spiders (or other pests) could get in.   There’s a kind of comfort to the consistency of pests. No matter how cold or dark it gets, at least you’ve always got to watch out for pests. ...That’s not a bright side? Well, we tried. Here, we’ll try again: if pests are consistent, then Plunkett’s is really consistent. You can call us any time, with any pest problem, and we’ll be there to fix it. And we will fix it, guaranteed.


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