Which Pests to Watch Out For in Winter?

We often assume that animal infestations just happen in summer. After all, we associate annoying pests like wasps, ants and flies with warm weather.  However, did you know that pests can be just as much of a problem in winter? In colder months wasps, cockroaches, squirrels and mice are among a few different pests that are trying to find warm spaces to settle. There are, however, a number of things you can look out for and do to prevent your home being overrun this winter.

Rats / Mice

Rat on worktop
Image courtesy of the British Pest Control Association

Why are they attracted to your home?

Mice and rats are very adaptive creatures and will change their behaviour to suit the environment they are in. The potential for food and warmth makes your home a very appealing place to nest for the winter.

Problems they can cause?

In their hunt for food, rats and mice will climb all over your home, spreading bacteria and damaging your property. In a domestic setting, this is bad enough, but when you consider the impact in restaurants or other commercial settings problems get a whole lot worse. Food establishments found to have rodent infestations can find themselves in trouble with the Food Standards Agency.

The damage caused by rats and mice can also extend beyond cosmetic damage to furnishing and surfaces, into potentially catastrophic territories, such as electrical wires. When rodents chew through electrical wires the result can vary from a broken appliance all the way through to an electrical fire. 

Where they will be?

Mice and rat nests are likely to be hidden away in warm places in your home. The insulation of your loft or the cavities in your walls are all popular real estate for a rodent, but to be perfectly honest you can find them almost anywhere. 

What you can do?

Maintaining a clean home by securing any open food in containers and keep all bins shut. You also want to fill any holes that you find, as this could be a potential entry place for a rodent.

 

Wasps

wasps in nest
Image courtesy of Kathy Jones

Why are they attracted to your home?

Although you would think of wasps as a summer pest, they will have to go somewhere in winter and your home is the perfect spot. Warm spaces in your home are perfect for them to hibernate in.

Problems they can cause?

In spring they will come out of hibernation and build a new nest. If they have built their nest in your loft already and it has good accessibility to the outside, they will probably rebuild it in the same place causing a nuisance all summer.

Where they will be?

Lofts, garages, sheds or anywhere secluded that still has access to the outside so they can get food in summer.

What you can do?

Check to see if there are access points they could get in through like the doors and windows or even the brickwork. You should also make sure your bins are moved away from places that provide access as they are attracted to the contents.

 

Cockroaches

cockroach on floor
Image courtesy of Gary Alpert

Why are they attracted to your home?

In winter these animals are less common outside because they flee indoors in large numbers as they are attracted to the warmth.

Problems they can cause?

Once these pests are settled the will multiply rapidly, spreading infection, diseased and dirt. Although this can be bad for homeowners, it can have detrimental impacts on businesses like restaurants and hospitals.

Where they will be?

They will live under floorboards or in basements.

What you can do?

They are attracted to warmth and food so open your windows every so often to air out the room (especially in places that get damp like a bathroom) or keeping the kitchen as clean as possible so there is no food debris, it should make your home less appealing to them.

 

Squirrels

Image courtesy of VJ Anderson

Why are they attracted to your home?

Squirrels like to live in your home as it is a warm space for them to use for nesting purposes.

Problems they can cause?

They have a voracious gnawing habit and although they may look cute when you see them outdoors they can actually get very aggressive when you try to remove them.

Where they will be?

They like to live in your loft or chimney.

What you can do?

It is an offence to release squirrels back into the wild and they must be humanely destroyed (unless it is a red squirrel). The best thing you can do is to contact a professional when you find a squirrel. However, you can do things to prevent them from getting in like covering your chimney with a cap or cutting hanging limbs from trees and sealing entry points to the roof.

 

Although some of these animals may seem harmless, you don’t want to risk anything happening to your family or property. It’s always best to call out a trusted professional to remove these animals in the correct way. If you have a problem with any pests then give A.C.E Pest Control a call on 01234 838 391.