Summer's over and fall is on its last legs... and that means it's time to stop worrying about pests in the house, right?
Conventional wisdom would have us believe that the warmer months are prime pest time. However, many pests seek to enter your home when it's cold precisely because they're seeking warmth. In fact, rodents — a.k.a. homeowners' #1 pest-related concern — invade 21 million homes each winter, says the National Pest Management Association.
But it's not just mice and rats. Cockroaches, ladybugs, ants, spiders and more top the list of winter pests.
If you're wondering how to keep bugs out of my home, read on to discover effective winter pest control methods.
From diseases to structural damage, a rodent infestation can cause serious harm to your health and property. Rodents like house mice and Norway rats come in from the cold, then nest in basements, attics and even piles of debris.
House mice often gnaw through drywall or wiring, leading to the risk of electrical fires. These small rodents carry a number of diseases, like tapeworm, hantavirus or salmonella, and may contaminate your food.
Mice can squeeze through a crack as thin as a dime and hide in boxes and debris. Signs of a mouse infestation include droppings, gnaw marks and damage to food.
Rats love to settle into basements, attics and cluttered areas. They're also large enough to chew through just about anything, including walls and pipes, as they search for food and water.
Rats spread a number of harmful diseases, such as the cowpox virus, jaundice and rat bite fever. A 1/4-inch wide opening is big enough for a rat to crawl through. Signs of infestation include droppings and greasy marks on surfaces.
Ladybugs, Roaches and Insects
Insects also enter your home seeking warmth. Roaches and spiders are common culprits, but you may also find a ladybug infestation in your home. Often, these little red beetles work their way through weather stripping around doors and windows and huddle in groups to hibernate. You may see them on southeast-facing windows and other bright, flat surfaces.
Another pest, cockroaches, love to hang out in moist areas close to food (such as kitchens and bathrooms). Often, they'll enter your home through shopping bags, boxes or second-hand goods.
The common German cockroach is known to spread human pathogens and bacteria, and contaminate food. They can also exacerbate asthma symptoms in children with allergies.
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You can take steps to avoid rodent infestations. Rodent pest control methods include:
- Sealing exterior cracks and holes
- Keeping boxes, clutter and debris off the floor
- Trimming branches away from your home's walls
- Keeping crawl spaces, basements and attics dry
As for ladybug infestations, sealing cracks in your home helps prevent entry. Squishing ladybugs one-by-one isn't effective, and can cause them to release a allergenic chemical that stains. Keeping counters, floors and surfaces clean can help control roaches. Sweeping, vacuuming and taking out the trash regularly also helps.
However, winter pest infestations usually require professional help. You shouldn't have to live with rodents and insects, or worry about the health and property damage they cause.
Ready to get rid of bugs and rodents in your home? RichPro Pest Management is here to help. Contact RichPro Pest Management today to choose the pest control plan that's right for you.