Why Should You Keep Pest Service through Winter?
The best thing about winter? Bugs are dying by the truckload. However, that doesn’t mean you should put the brakes on your preventative pest control strategy. Sure, most insect species tend to reduce populations dramatically during the winter, but they’ll come back in the spring.
Property owners must maintain a preventative pest control strategy during the winter, especially if they experience a pest infestation during the summer or fall. Depending on where you reside in the United States, you’ll need year-round pest control strategies.
Southern California, Arizona, Texas, and the Gulf states don’t get much of a winter, with air temperatures sufficient to sustain some pests’ life cycle. Don’t assume that winter gets you off the hook with your pest control program. You need to remain vigilant with your process throughout the season.
So why should you keep pest service through winter? This post unpacks why you should keep a pest control service during the winter.
It’s Winter – Do Pests Hibernate or Die?
The summer months are warm and wonderful. Those long evenings on the porch enjoying the night air, the blazing days full of sun and fun. You aren’t the only one enjoying the fine weather. The pests are out in force doing what they do.
When the mercury dips in the fall and winter, pests change behavior. In Southern California, Arizona, and Texas, winged insects will migrate to the Valley or further south into Mexico to escape the cold. However, many crawling insects choose to hibernate during the winter to wait out the cold.
Hibernation causes the insect to slow its metabolic rate, sending the bugs into a dormant state until the weather warms up in the spring. Insects require a safe, warm place to hibernate for the winter, protecting them from the elements and predators.
Some insects take refuge from the cold underground, in trees, or in the brush around your yard. Unfortunately, many species choose homes, business premises, or commercial buildings to hide out for the season. It’s common to find pests hibernating in attics, inside your roof, up the chimney, or within the foundation or walls of your property.
Since the pests are hibernating, there’s a good chance you won’t even know they’re in your home. It’s only when the spring arrives, and they end the hibernation that you realize the problem you have on your hands.
This is why homeowners, business owners, and commercial building managers need to implement a winter pest control program. This strategy prevents pests from overrunning your property when the weather warms up.
The hibernation habits of insects vary by species and subspecies. For instance, male mosquitos will die in the fall, while their female counterparts create fat stores to survive the winter, entering the ‘diapause’ phase similar to hibernation.
Bees and wasps have a similar habit of surviving the winter. The queen stays in the center of the nest. Her subordinates surround her, fluttering their wings to create warmth in the nest or hive. The bees shift positions, allowing the ones on the outside to enter the inner clave and feed on honey to sustain energy for creating the heating effect.
Arthropods rely on an external heat source for warmth. These exothermic insects cannot create body heat, meaning they die off in the winter when the temperature drops. Fortunately for the bugs, and not so fortunate for you, exothermic insects will attempt to escape the cold and move into your home when the mercury drops.
Insects use pheromone biochemicals to broadcast what they find to other insects nearby. So, if one finds its way into your home, you can bet others are arriving shortly. Maintaining a preventative pest control strategy in the winter ensures the bugs have nowhere to hide in your home.
Pests Living in the Walls Won’t Care If It’s Winter
The cold wintertime weather will impact pest populations living outdoors, but it won’t have any effect if you have pests infesting your walls. The wall’s interior gives the pests the protection they need from exposure to the winter elements.
Rodents don’t hibernate. They stay active throughout the winter, breeding in the spring. However, rats and mice don’t like being outdoors in the cold, and they’ll look for properties in the area to hide out for the inter. Your well-insulated roof or attic is like a five-star hotel for rodents looking to wait out the winter.
While they don’t have the same fiery level of activity they have in the summer, rats and mice will run through your home at night during the winter, looking for food. You’ll need to implement a winter pest control strategy to ensure the rodents don’t set up shop in your residence.
Pests Escape the Cold By Hiding in the Attic
Rodents aren’t the only pests that love hiding inside the roof or in your attic. Spiders often shelter from the winter inside the attic, spinning their webs and laying eggs. When the spring arrives, the change in temperature causes the eggs to hatch, resulting in a rapid infestation of your home.
Raccoons and bats also seek shelter inside the roof rafters or in the attic during the winter. It provides these pests with the perfect location to wait out the winter. In the meantime, they can cause issues with the wiring inside the roof, presenting a fire hazard to your home.
A preventative pest control program helps keep these pests from moving into your property during the winter.
Check the Gutters and Roof
You might wonder how rodents and raccoons find their way into the roof of your home or building. In most cases, they rely on gutter systems around the property to act as highways into your ceiling or attic. These rodents will use the cracks and crevices in the gutters as footholds to climb into the gutters and reach the roof.
Replacing damaged gutters and installing traps at the top of the drainpipe prevents the rodents from gaining access to your property through the gutter systems around your roof. Call a pest control specialist. They’ll secure your gutters and downpipes against rodents and other pests, using them as a highway into your home.
A Winter Inspection Prevents Pest Issues in Spring
Call a pest control professional and have them inspect your home for pests in the winter. By taking a preventative approach to pest control in the winter, you don’t give the insects and rodents that chance to get a head start on you in the spring. As a result, you have a pest-free summer.
The pest control experts will visit your property and assess it for access points. They’ll seal cracks, gaps, and holes around your doors and windows. Rodents and bats use the warm air escaping from these areas around your home to find the entrance.
Rodents can fit through holes as small as a dime, so sealing everything up is important to keep them out. The pest control team will assess your roof, attic, and walls for pest infestations that could become a problem when the spring arrives.
They’ll remove rodents, seal the entrances, and keep your home pest-free for the winter and summer.
Use a Professional Pest Control Service to Pest-Proof Your Property This Winter
Don’t let pests hide out in your home this winter. Call a pest control specialist and have them conduct an inspection on your property. They’ll assess your home’s vulnerabilities and remove any pests they find on the scene.
A preventative winter pest strategy ensures you enjoy the coming summer instead of dealing with pests that ruin the season. You might see it as an unnecessary expense, but that’s the wrong way to look at the process.
A preventative pest control program can save you thousands of dollars in removing an undetected pest infestation that comes to life in the spring. In this case, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.