While there are specific times of the year when certain insect and bug populations boom, the troubling fact is that some pests are around all year.
It's true, pests like ants and termites typically emerge in the spring. But that doesn't mean you'll never spot them in other seasons. You should always be prepared to fight off unwanted home invaders no matter the season (or temperature).
There are many factors that can influence pest sightings – including some that are out of your control such as location and weather. However, your home and habits can also attract pests.
As we passand most of the country prepares for colder months ahead, there are important ways you can help block pests from entering your home.
Get started by hiring a pest control company, which can set you up with a professional who can evaluate your residence and create a plan that's tailored to your needs.
Do you really need pest control in the winter?
The short answer: Yes. Most pest control servicesspread throughout the year to ensure you're completely protected.
Pest control company Terminix said customers who opt for quarterly visits will work with a technician to determine a schedule that makes sense for them.
"Your local Terminix technicians come out to your home quarterly to inspect and adjust your pest control treatments as needed. This ensures that certain seasonal pests don't thrive in or around your home as seasons and temperatures change," Terminix explains on its website.
Orkin agrees with taking a year-round approach to pest control.
"Pests are present all year long no matter the weather, season or area you live. The best time of year for pest control is all year long to help keep them at bay and prevent future infestations," the pest control company states online. Orkin said it believes there are actually six seasons for pests: swarm season, breeding season, high season, prep season, invader season and shelter season.
Are there pests in the winter?
As discussed above, there are certain types of pests that continue to present problems for residents year-round. That includes winter. So, it's important to never let your guard down.
In fact, some pests like cockroaches, pharaoh ants and spiders are more prominent in the winter months and search for warmth inside homes to ensure their survival.
"Droppings or body parts of cockroaches and other pests can trigger asthma. Certain proteins are found in cockroach feces and saliva and can cause allergic reactions or trigger asthma symptoms in some individuals," the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns online.
Rodents are also problematic, invading an estimated 21 million U.S. homes in the winter months, according to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). Not only are rodents a nuisance, but they also pose a major health hazard, carrying a variety of diseases.
"Rodents are cute in the movies, not in the house," Dr. Ron Harrison, technical services director at Orkin, previously warned. "They are disease transmitters and cause huge problems structurally. They've been known to cause fires by gnawing through electrical wires."
Keep yourself and your home protected by hiring a pest control service today.
How to pest-proof your home this winter
Most pest control companies don't just take a chemical-first approach anymore. Instead, they use the environmentally-friendly Integrated Pest Management (IPM) method to prevent pests and find ways to eliminate the problem with less toxic alternatives.
"With IPM, we target and remove or block access to what pests need most – food, water and shelter – allowing us to minimize or even eliminate the need for chemical pesticides," Orkin notes.
If you're looking to take a similar approach and lessen the need for future chemicals, here are some ways you can pest-proof your home:
- Seal all cracks, holes and other potential entries into your home
- Store food in airtight containers
- Monitor your pipes for leaks
- Don't leave pet food out overnight
- Trim plants so they don't touch your home
- Don't let dishes pile up in the sink (especially with water inside)
- Keep your house clean and vacuum regularly
In addition to all of these things, reach out to a professional for more advice on prevention and ensuring unwanted critters stay out of your home this winter (and all year round).
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