Where do pests winter?
Summer is long gone; Atlanta’s chilly and days are short. As you cozy up by the fire and sip hot chocolate, do you ever wonder what insects, rodents and other pests do during the winter? We are smart enough to know that pest problems aren’t going away and that pests don’t just die off in the colder months and magically reappear in the spring.
All the warm weather gets pests scurrying, burrowing, gnawing, buzzing, biting and stinging but as temperatures drop, pests slow down, making them more vulnerable to predators. So in the winter, pests are looking to find shelter from the cold and from predators. They look for a food source and a cozy place to multiply, and your home is on their list especially if they can easily sneak in through cracks, crevices and other entryways.
Where are these pests hiding?
Attics, crawlspaces, basements, wall voids and vacant rooms make favorite places for pests to slow down, build nests, grow their young and hibernate. Also, some insects like your pantry so much they have their own designation as “food insects.” Indian meal moths, grain beetles and other food insects like grains, flour, dried fruits and well, most items in your dried food storage. Dark, quiet pantry cupboards provide excellent breeding grounds for all sorts of food insects that lay their eggs and contaminate food. Even outside, in storage sheds, in woodpiles and neglected debris, insects and rodents can make happy little nests.
Exclusion: Blocking pest intruders
Keeping pests out of your home in the winter can be tricky. The first and most important thing to remember is that if pests can’t get into your home, more than likely you won’t have a pest problem. The problem is: Pests can gain entry into your home through smaller spaces than you might realize. Rodents need no more than nickel to quarter size holes to make your home their home. Rodents can spread diseases and wreak havoc on the structural integrity of your home and possibly destroy your home by causing electrical fires by gnawing at wiring. Insects can also easily get inside your home and need less space than rodents to invade your Atlanta home.
On the exterior: Proactive things to do to exclude and deter pests
- Seal, caulk or repair any and all holes, cracks, crevices and other potential entryways on the exterior of your home.
- Remove all debris from around your home. Pests love clutter, so clean up woodpiles, surplus building supplies and other materials on your deck or patio that can make nice cozy nests.
- Stack firewood at least 20 feet from your home.
- Repair or remove damp wood, as some pests seek entry through soft, wet or rotting wood.
- Clear out weeds and overgrown vegetation that attract pests.
- Trim shrubs and trees branches away from walls and roofs, eliminating pest pathways into your home.
- Ensure that your outdoor trash receptacles close securely.
- Whenever possible, unpack boxes outside.
- When returning from vacations and overnight trips, especially if you stayed in a hotel, launder or dry clean all clothing and vacuum luggage thoroughly to avoid introducing an insect that knows no season: bed bugs.
On the interior: Please do not feed the pests
- Always wash dishes after meals and wipe down food prep and dining areas.
- Sweep or vacuum kitchen and dining areas after meals.
- Store all dried food in airtight containers, including pet food and birdseed.
- Clean all spills, loose flour and grains from pantry shelves.
- Be on the lookout for pest activities, like droppings near food areas, evidence of chewing, and random sawdust, plus scurrying and scratching sounds in your walls and attic.
You don’t have to go it alone: Contact a pest professional
To put your mind at ease this winter or to address winter pest problems, contact Truly Nolen Atlanta. Truly’s Four Seasons approach takes into account pests’ seasonal behaviors. Utilizing a combination of innovative application methods, materials and exclusion tactics, Truly Nolen Atlanta’s proactive process impacts pests’ reproductive cycles to reduce future generations and eradicate pests from your home. Convenient quarterly inspections ensure that your home is protected throughout the year. Truly Nolen’s eco-friendly pest control solutions strive to keep your family and pets safe and your home pest-free from season to season.
For effective year round pest control, call Truly Nolen Atlanta to schedule an inspection at (678) 561-2847. So, throw another log on the fire and savor that hot chocolate!