Cold-Weather Invaders – Sneaky Winter Pests to Look Out For

squirrel trying to get inside through a window

There’s a common misconception that pests are more prevalent in the summer. The hotter months can indeed be the most active season for some critters, especially insects. However, there are many winter pests for which you should be on the lookout.

When the temperature drops, rodents and insects hibernate, and your business or home can be one of the warmest places for them to sleep through the season. The pests will take advantage of any easy access points and set up residence in your attic, garage, wall cavities, or even in unused cupboards.

Stink bugs are among the insects that get into homes and make themselves a nuisance, while rodents can do a lot of damage to homes. So, join us as we discuss the usual winter suspects who will probably intrude upon our homes  – if we allow them in.

How to Keep the Most Common Winter Pests Out

It is often difficult to manage pests once they have found their way inside your house. Pest-free winters can be accomplished by stopping these invaders before they move indoors. 

Knowing how to identify brown marmorated stink bugs, how to deal with mice and rats, and how to keep squirrels out is essential. So, let’s start with…

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

how to get rid of stink bugs

It stinks to have your home taken over by insects. Quite literally.

Stink bugs get their name from the foul odour they emit when disturbed or crushed. The adults of the brown marmorated stink bug have a shield-shaped body and an exoskeleton resembling a brown marble. Their antennae are light-toned and almost rectangular. Bugs of this species reproduce rapidly, live a fairly long time (6 to 8 months), and can even fly.

In the fall, this insect becomes a nuisance pest both indoors and outdoors when it seeks out protected overwintering grounds in homes. A stink bug won’t cause structural damage to a house, and it won’t sting or bite you. However, if they are crushed or disturbed, they will emit their foul smell, causing their presence to become painfully evident.

Late October is when hibernating critters search for suitable sites, such as attics and wall voids. When November arrives, the stink bugs stop flying and move into their winter hibernation place.

The best way to control this smelly insect is to prevent it from ever getting into your house in the first place. The process of exclusion can be accomplished through different methods. 

To start, check all doors and windows to make sure they are sealed properly. Next, ensure that all screens are correctly installed and functional. Make sure your home’s siding, utility pipes, and spaces behind chimneys are free of any cracks that could allow pests access. Using the right products on exterior or interior access points is crucial; otherwise, exclusion methods may still allow pests to enter a home freely. 

This article provides more detailed information on preventing these cold-weather pests from entering your home and how to get rid of them.

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Rats and Mice

signs of rats

It is only a matter of time before the rodents follow the insects. A rat or mouse will often find their way into a house during winter and getting rid of them can be challenging. There is no mystery to their invasion; they are on the hunt for warmth, shelter, and food, and all of these things are readily available in your home. 

Check also: How to Find Mice Entry Points

If you want to avoid having them stay in your house, make sure they cannot get to your food sources, such as leftovers on a kitchen counter or easy-to-access bins. Open foods, such as cereal or snacks, should be placed in an airtight container where rats and mice cannot access them, and your cabinets should always be closed properly when you are not using them. In addition, you must clean up spilled food immediately. 

To keep rodents away from your home, seal off any holes in the walls and floor to prevent them from entering. As they chew their way through the walls and cables of your home to keep their growing teeth trimmed, they can also cause quite a bit of damage. Surprise, surprise rats are also capable of chewing metal! In addition to chewing holes in woodwork, rodents make nests in the cavities and can soon drive you insane.

Despite looking very cute in the pet shop, mice can, and will, very rapidly multiply if given the chance. A mouse doesn’t have excellent table manners, either, and they “go” to the bathroom while eating. This is not a particularly beneficial situation for us, as you might imagine. 

A professional rodent exterminator is the only solution for a severe infestation on your property. A rat may avoid contact with humans, but it may bite you if cornered. These animals can cause serious health problems. It is simply not worth the risk.

Squirrels

Regardless of what some people think about squirrels when they take a stroll through the park, if they end up in your attic, they can cause all kinds of trouble due to their excessive gnawing. Utility cables can be chewed through, and even the structural integrity of roof joists can be compromised. Keep in mind that squirrels can be quite aggressive if you are trying to chase them away, too.

For them, attics and chimneys are ideal places to build nests. Therefore, it is an excellent idea to invest in chimney caps. Trim shrubbery away from the house and cut down overhanging limbs to make it harder for squirrels to get to your home. In addition to replacing rotting wood, you should seal any entry points into the home, including where pipes and utilities enter and the eaves overhang.

Various laws govern the treatment of squirrels, so if you find that they have infested your property, contact a pest control specialist. Under the Wildlife and Conservation Act 1981, red squirrels are protected in the United Kingdom. In addition, it is illegal to destroy or damage a red squirrel’s shelter. Due to the laws surrounding squirrel treatment, we highly recommend consulting a professional before attempting to deal with an infestation yourself.

Check also: Where Do Insects Go in the Winter Time

Our advice

In most cases, preventing access to winter pests is the same. The outside of your property needs to be thoroughly checked for any small access points and sealed up. The hole required to allow rodents into the building is surprisingly small. 

In addition, you can minimise the chances of your home or business being targeted by ensuring that bins, specifically those containing food waste, always remain secure and ideally at a reasonable distance from the property. Also, do not place any foodstuffs on worktops or the floor. The smell of pet food is appealing to rodents, even when it is dried.

It’s essential to conduct regular inspections inside unused spaces to detect infestations as early as possible.

There will be times when you must call in professionals, even if DIY prevention and action have helped you handle many infestations. The experts have the knowledge, equipment, and skills necessary to resolve any pest invasion.

Need a Pest Exterminator?

Enter your postcode to view our rates and availability in your area.

Enter your postcode

For questions about the services we offer visit our main site or you can always call us at 020 3746 0579

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