Have you been concerned with general and wildlife pests all throughout the year? What household pests should you worry about, especially during the cold and wet winter months?
STAYING ALERT FOR COMMON WINTER PESTS IS CRUCIAL TO KEEPING YOUR OREGON HOME PEST-FREE ALL YEAR ROUND.
From sugar ants in your kitchen, buzzing Yellow Jackets around the garden, or loud and rowdy squirrels gnawing on the wooden beams of your attic, you always need to be on the lookout for pests. Come wintertime, most people think pests take a break but in reality, they’re just lurking around the corner.
Here are the top ten most common winter pests in Oregon, in no particular order:
Want to know more about signs of winter pests in your Beaverton home? Here’s an easy guide for the most common pests you need to watch out for, including the signs, the dos, and the don’ts.
HOW WINTER PESTS “THINK”
What outdoor activities make you anticipate the cold and wet winter months of the year? When is the best time to be out and about? Are you thinking of having a picnic with the family? Or do you just like staying at home, spending time with loved ones and your pets, keeping warm, dry, and cozy?
Yes – insects, rodents, and wildlife think the same thing.
These pests crawl and nest, waiting around and surviving until the first indications of springtime. Many of these home invaders are comparatively dormant during the cold season, but that doesn’t mean they won’t cause damage to your property. That’s because they adapt and become very opportunistic during winter when food sources are limited.
What could be the next best thing to a shelter with food source for a pest? Your home. With that, you still need to remain cautious when it comes to winter pest control.
TELL-TALE SIGNS OF WINTER PESTS
A lot of homeowners don’t really pay attention to how seasonal pest infestations can be. However, regardless of subtlety, you need to watch out and stay alert for signs of infestations.
Rodents and Wildlife
- Hearing unexplained sounds? Pests like squirrels, raccoons, rats, and mice search for gaps that they can use as a hideout. If you’re hearing scrambling or scratching sounds in your attic, walls, or ceiling, they must have gotten inside already and have chosen your home as their nest.
- Smelling anything bad? The stench of pests can be very difficult to ignore. Does it smell like urine, animal droppings, spoiled food, or worst, dead animals? Watch out for perplexing or stinking smells around the house.
- Seeing trails of droppings? Animal droppings in the kitchen, garage, or attic is one of the most obvious signs of pest infestation. Be vigilant for any trail.
- Anything damaged? Although you probably won’t find nocturnal animals since they are active at nighttime, you’ll still see indications of their activity. Check for any damage in your food containers, scratches on your baseboards, or scratches or oily marks on your walls (which happens when rodent fur rub on walls).
Bugs and Insects
The easiest winter insects to spot and notice are ants, specifically because they are frequently moving, looking for food sources. Make sure that you inspect:
- Exterior windows. Windows are one of the areas of your home that are most accessible to these pests.
- Bathrooms. The bathroom is a good source of moist or water. This area can help pests to survive until they find their way to a more stable source of food.
- Kitchens and pantries. Your kitchen and pantry are not only sources of food for your family and fur babies, but also for pests.
- Basements and attics. Areas in your home that are not frequented by you and your family are tempting nests for these crawlers and critters.
WINTER PEST CONTROL TIPS: PREVENTION IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN CURE
As cliché as it may sound, you know it’s true. A preventive and practical approach in the summer and fall months is always the start of effective winter pest control.
- Cleanliness is key. Your kitchen and bathroom are very good sources of food, water, and warmth for these pests. With this, keep your home clean all the time.
- If you haven’t visited your basement or attic for weeks (or worst months, even years), now is a good time. If you hear anything coming from the basement or attic, check to see what it is. Moreover, check for stinky smells, animal droppings, or wall damages. Dust attic areas regularly to keep the pests out.
- Check your lawn, deck, and outdoor fittings for signs of activities from insects and animals. As the months get colder, these winter pests’ first move is to seek warmth indoors, making their way to your home.
- Tidy outdoor items. Check toys, grills, outdoor furniture, or any other stuff that you want to store in the attic or your garage. Clean them first before you bring them in!
- Pay attention to your home’s exteriors. Seal off cracks and holes. Use pest control treatments to inhibit unwanted guests from going inside your home.
- Stay alert and be observant of the earliest indicators of mice and rats. The sooner you identify the issue, the easier it will be to address.
WHAT NOT TO DO
If you think your home has been invaded by insects, rodents, or wildlife pests, make sure that you AVOID doing these things below:
- Paying no attention to the problem. Pests WON’T go away, and many of them will hide and remain inactive until the weather gets warmer. By that time, they have invaded your home and the problem you ignored would now need an extensive – and maybe expensive – pest control treatment.
- Poisoning rodents and wildlife pests. It’s no question that poison can kill these animals. However, this also means dead animals that can get trapped inside your walls. This not only leads to stinky odors, but also to the trapped dead animal being a good source of food for other pests.
- Not examining the source before killing insects. Even if you get rid of the ants you see crawling on your countertops or in your pantry, it doesn’t mean they are gone permanently. If winter insects have already nested in your home, chances are there are more of them hidden from sight somewhere inside or nearby. Look for the source or the nest to make sure you can get rid of them – for good.
ARE YOU WASTING MONEY ON PEST CONTROL?
A lot of homeowners get exhausted from repetitively keeping their homes free from pests, but even the smallest mistake or shortest delay can lead to huge pest problems. Pest control though is not a one-time job, as insects, rodents, and wildlife pests don’t stop looking for food sources or places to hide. If these home invaders don’t take a break from that, then neither can you.
Once you recognize the signs of an active winter pest infestation, urgent intervention is crucial. Remember: these pests are not going to go away on their own once they are already inside your home. It is recommended that you call a pest control expert for an effective, comprehensive extermination plan.
Ant & Garden Organic Pest Control specializes in safe, organic, and eco-friendly pest control solutions for common house pests like rodents, ants, and spiders, among many others. I offer an all-year-round pest control plan that will take care of pest infestations no matter the season. Being fully licensed, certified, and experienced, my pest coverage program includes:
- 4 seasonal inspections
- Treatments that prevent infestations from even starting
- Safeguarding against most common pests in the Pacific Northwest
- Eco-friendly extermination techniques and methods safe for you, your family, and pets
If you see any of the infestation signs above – or just so you stop worrying – don’t hesitate to contact us.