Common Winter Pests and How to Prevent Them

Posted: December 22, 2022

Fabric Pests, Mice, Rats, Rodents, Stored Product Pests

Spring and summer are commonly known as “peak season” for most pest activity. During the warmest months in the Southeastern U.S., numerous pests, like mosquitos, ants, termites, and flies are out in full force. 

However, when the colder months arrive, while some of those pests may not be as active, there are still plenty of pests and bugs in winter ready to take up residence in your home. To understand how to prevent winter pests in the home, first, you need to understand the behavior that drives them indoors.

Pest Behavior During Winter

During the winter months, many animals in cold climates go into hibernation. This allows these animals to conserve energy and survive until the spring thaw. Similarly, many pests have their own version of hibernation called diapause.

During diapause, insects will try to seek shelter from the cold weather. They might burrow underground, in tree trunks, under logs, and, yes, even in homes. This allows them to conserve their energy in a safe location. Depending on the pest, they may literally suspend their growth and movement in any current stage, pausing as eggs, larvae, pupae, or adults.

What does this mean for homeowners? During diapause, it is common to see an influx of pests in the home. It can also be particularly hard to get rid of insects in diapause because they do not require food to survive.

Common Winter Pests You Might See Around the Home

In the Southeast, numerous pests might enter the home — both those seeking a place to enter diapause and those simply in search of a warm environment and a steady food supply. Common winter pests include the following:

Rodents: Rodents are an extremely common pest during the winter months. Rats and mice seek a warm nest in the walls of homes, feasting on any pantry items or food they can find.

Cockroaches: While cockroaches are a year-round struggle, when the cold approaches, these pests have an added incentive to find a cozy home. Cockroaches prefer to be in a warm, moist environment with ample supplies of food.

Silverfish: Less than one inch in size, silverfish enjoy taking up residence in a warm, humid location during cold months. These bugs will consume paper, including wallpaper and book bindings.

Carpet beetles: As their name implies, the larvae of carpet beetles eat through fabrics and materials commonly found in carpets, rugs, and textiles. These materials are widely available indoors, and when it’s cold, it’s easier for them to find meals by invading homes as opposed to searching for similar proteins found in nature.

How to Prevent Pests from Entering Your Home During Winter

The best way to get rid of pests is to prevent them from entering the home. Use these tips for keeping pests at bay as the temperatures cool.

  1. Seal it up. The first step in preventing pests is to try to determine where they are entering the home. Seal up any holes, cracks, and crevices that are allowing pests in.
  2. Consider the source. While warmth is a motivator for pests during the winter, so is food. Make sure to store all food — including pet food — in containers that are impenetrable by pests.
  3. Be careful during holiday prep. For those who plan to bring in holiday decorations from the outdoors, it’s important to take an extra moment to double-check that no pests are hitchhiking their way indoors.
  4. Seek professional help. As colder weather arrives, pests become masters at finding ways into the home. Once you notice one pest in the house, there are likely many others you can’t see. A pest control professional can help create a targeted strategy for removing current pests and preventing future arrivals.

If you are dealing with winter pests in your home, our team at Dodson Pest Control is here to help. Since 1944, our family-owned company has been providing pest control services to satisfied customers. Schedule a free inspection today, and prevent winter pests from taking over your home.

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