5 Common Winter Pests and How to Control Them

There are pests that like to stick around all year long, but others tend to be more frequent during the cold winter season. This includes a variety of insects, rodents and small animals that hang around outside your home. Here are some of the more common winter pests and how to keep them out of your home and away from your property.

Cluster Flies

Cluster flies are very common during the winter, and since the doors and windows are closed, can become a real nuisance. Cluster flies are different from regular flies in that they are slightly larger, have more sluggish movement and tend to cluster in groups at windows. They are more commonly seen near attics and basements, though you can find them anywhere in your home. To get rid of cluster flies, a fly swatter is often the best method, since they are large enough to catch. Prevention is very important, which includes sealing the home and repairing any cracks in the structure.

German Cockroaches

Unfortunately, German cockroaches can also be common during the winter season. This is one of the most common types of roaches seen in the world. They like to find moisture and food, so they are bound to come inside your home and stick around in basements, kitchens, bathrooms and garages. Even if you don’t spot them, they can trigger allergies and spread bacteria. To keep them out of your home, make sure you always clean up messes, including crumbs on the floors and countertops. Always wash dishes right away and take the trash out. Keep your trash covered when necessary. Inspect underneath sinks and near appliances often to be sure the roaches have not made their way inside.

Rodents

Winter can also cause more rodents to come inside, as they are looking for food, warmth and somewhere dry. Both rats and mice will come inside your home if they can find a way in. They are scared of people, so usually hide and scurry when you are awake. They are both more active at night when everyone is asleep. Like cockroaches, they will go looking for food, so the best way to keep them out is keeping a clean house and covering all garbage. Seal up your home so they can’t find a way in. If you find evidence of mice or rats, such as droppings, call a pest control company. Setting out traps is also a good option, but be careful to place them where pets or small children can’t get to.

Raccoons

If you live in a wooded area, you will notice that raccoons make their appearance known in the winter time. They are often looking for denning, so they will hang out around outdoor buildings like sheds and detached garages. They might also look for entrances into your home, such as through a chimney or attic. Repair loose shingles or siding to reduce the entrance points for the raccoons. If you see them outside, call animal control so they can help get rid of them before they come inside. Raccoons might carry rabies, so they can be dangerous to your other pets. Never leave pet food outside after your pets are done eating, as raccoons are drawn to it when searching for food.

Winged Carpenter Ants

While ants are usually more plentiful in hot months when they come inside for water, winged carpenter ants are more common in the winter. If you find winged ants inside your home during the winter, there is probably a nest somewhere inside your home or near it. The best thing to do is call pest control to find the nest and help get rid of these pests.

When controlling winter pests, it is important that you not use poison or chemicals that could be dangerous for your children or other pets. This is why sticking to natural pest control methods is recommended. If you are still having trouble with the pests, contact a local pest control professional.

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