There's no doubt that summer is prime pest season. Insects are abundant and make their way freely in through opening doors and windows; and wildlife, including rats and mice, actively roam around grassy lawns and open fields.
But, as too many too often learn, such pests don't go completely inactive in the winter. In fact, when it is cold and wet or snowy outside, pests are even more likely to seek the warmth and shelter of the indoors.
Following are brief descriptions of some of the most common winter pests:
Rodents crave the warmth, security and easy food that can be found indoors during the winter. Mice and rats may be driven inside by the harsh weather, where they may take up living within holes in the wall, behind appliances or within crawlspaces.
A wily, curious creature, the house mouse is the most common of home-invading mice. Cute in a cage in the pet store…not so cute when it decides to make your house its home.
The Norway rat and the Roof rat are the two most common species of rats in the Okanagan. Unlike Norway rats, which tend to stay on the ground, Roof rats get up into treetops and attics, and they particularly like fruit.
As the temperature drops for the season, ants make their home inside yours for a cozy shelter. Your home provides the perfect housing facility for these pesky insects as it has heat, food, and shelter to keep them occupied for an entire winter.
They will likely have a nest hidden within the walls and floors of your home, so be wary of the one or two ants you may encounter as there are many more. Many ants stay in one area as they are resting. However, some species of ants can explore the area further to find food or even damage your home.
Most spiders that travel indoors do so because of weather conditions. When it begins to get cold in the fall and winter, spiders begin looking for a warmer place to hide. They are often found in dark corners of basements, attics, crawlspaces, and garages. If you notice a large number of spiders in your home, it could indicate additional pest problems.
For decades, the saying “Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite” was a fairly meaningless lights-out phrase for kids. While bed bugs have been around since pre-historic times, in the last decade they’ve enjoyed a strong resurgence in hotels, apartment complexes, office buildings, retail stores and movie theaters as well as other types of commercial facilities.
You can prevent home invasion of pests, and there are methods to control them if they do get in. Sometimes it is better to hire a pest control professional than to try to do it yourself. This is particularly true if the pest problem is ongoing, if the infestation has become large, or if the products needed for control are only authorized for use by certified professionals.