Common Pests That Enter Homes In Winter: Tips For Preventing Their Entry

From preventing ice dams to making sure the front steps are always free of ice and snow, for many homeowners, winter is nothing but a long list of back breaking chores. However, before you put your feet up and enjoy a mug of hot cocoa, there is one more issue you should address: pests. Just like you, several common pests find your warm home very appealing on frigid winter days, and their unwelcome presence can cause major damage. Here are a few common pests that you might find in your home during winter, and how to keep them out:

Common Winter Pests

From bees and ants to squirrels and termites, when it comes to common summertime pests, chances are you have an arsenal of products ready to combat these unwanted invaders. However, if you're noticing any unexplained damage or worse, animal droppings, it could be one of these common winter pests:

  • Box Elder Bugs – According to Oregon State University, the box elder bug—which as an adult is brownish-black in color and features distinctive red marks—isn't aggressive and generally won't invade your pantry. However, their numbers will increase quickly and their fecal matter can leave behind nasty stains on your clothing and furniture.

  • German Cockroaches – One of the most common cockroaches found in the United States, the average German cockroach adult reaches a length of about one-half inch and is light brown in color. Aside from making your stomach turn, this species of cockroach can also cause a severe allergic reaction in people with asthma and is a carrier for many types of bacteria.

  • Mice – Another common sight across America, common house mice can find several ways to enter your home, from a small crack in the foundation to your dryer's vent. In addition to causing structural damage to your home, house mice can also transmit potentially fatal germs, including Salmonella.

  • The Brown Recluse – Although the majority of spiders that enter your home are nothing but a nuisance, there is one species that gravitate towards the warmth and comfort of your house in the winter: the brown recluse. Found predominantly in the Midwest, the brown recluse features a distinctive violin-shaped mark on its back. The venom of the brown recluse spider is potentially deadly to both humans and pets.

If you notice a brown recluse in your home, don't hesitate to contact a pest control agent immediately.

Keeping Your Home Pest-Free in Winter

The number of potential pests that can call your house, home during the winter is staggering. Luckily, it doesn't take much time or money to protect your home and family from the onslaught:

  • Know Where to Look – The majority of pests won't make their presence know until it's too late. To prevent a minor infestation from becoming a major issue, keep a lookout for pests in the areas of your home they most prefer, which includes the basement, inside cardboard boxes, inside closets or behind your appliances.

  • Perform Some Pre-Winter Cleaning – Before the temperature drops, eliminate any clutter from inside and outside your home, including brush, cardboard boxes and decaying leaves.

  • Seal Every Nook, Cranny and Crack – Finally, the best defense against pests is to prevent their entry. Grab some caulk and a caulk gun and explore the exterior and interior of your home, paying special attention to the doors and windows. Fill any crack or damaged area you find with the caulk. If the damage is extensive, such as a broken window, don't hesitate to repair it, as well.

Unfortunately, no matter how vigilant you are, it's still possible a few pests will make it into your home this winter. If left untreated, a few seemingly-innocent pests can turn into a major problem quickly, which is why you must ask fast. In many cases, a professional pest control agent is the best weapon you will have to get rid of these unwanted guests! To get more information, go to sites that specialize in pest control.