Pests to Look Out for This Winter
November 18, 2019
Winter is coming - and that means particular pests might start trying to enter homes in an attempt to escape the chillier temperatures and access an easy food source: namely your cupboards. So which pests frequent North Carolina come winter, and what are the signs of an infestation? Types of pests that look to invade homes in the wintertime fall into 2 broad categories: wildlife and insects.
Which Wildlife is Common?
In the Western North Carolina, there is a range of different wildlife that you should be on the lookout for:
- Raccoons- While raccoons are quite active in the spring and summertime, it’s during the winter when they will be looking for warm shelter. Raccoons tend to take shelter in or around man-made structures, which can make your home a target.
- Skunks- Skunks will look to find warm places to burrow underneath for warmth during the colder months, so keep an eye out for skunk holes near decks, sheds, porches, garages, and home foundations.
- Snakes- There are various snakes that are commonplace in North Carolina, and many of them will be looking for dark spaces to hide from the cold this winter--so if you have a shed, barn, garage, or even just some old tree stumps in your yard, tread carefully!
- Squirrels- Squirrels look for places to burrow for the winter hibernation, typically in places like sheds, attics, and garages. Squirrels will also create dens in trees, which is not an immediate problem in the winter (since they are hibernating) but may become a problem come spring in summer; squirrels can cause some serious lan damage in warmer months.
- Bats- Much like the other critters we’ve talked about, bats hibernate come winter, and so will look to find dark, warm places to hide to escape the cold, like your attic, garage, or basement.
- Mice- Probably the most infamous and numerous of the home invasion wildlife threats, mice will start trying to populate your home looking for warmth and food. What makes them an especially frequent threat is their extreme flexibility, which allows them to enter the home through the tiniest entry points.
Common Winter Insects
A wealth of wildlife is not the only winter pest threat; there are also a few insects that will be could be looking to make their way indoors, namely spiders and ants.
- Ants- There are at least 10 different types of ants that are common in North Carolina, most of which only pose the relatively minor threat of causing food contamination. However, carpenter ants are a different story, because they can cause serious structural damage over time.
- While all types of ants are usually limited in their activity during the winter- they slow down so that they can conserve energy- they can become active if their colony is located near a warm enough source. Even if they do remain mostly inactive, you don’t want an ant colony living in your home over-winter, because that can mean an active, well-established ant colony once the weather warms up.
- Spiders- We know spiders aren’t technically insects- they’re arachnids- but they can still cause some serious problems, especially because some of the spiders found locally are venomous, including the brown recluse and the black widow. Other spiders- of the non-venomous variety- pose a much less significant threat, but can be an indication that you have other insect infestations on your hands: spiders tend to like living where they can access food, and that food is usually other insects.
I Have Winter Pests. Now What?
If you’ve discovered an insect or wildlife infestation on or in your property, it’s something you’ll want to have taken care of before they settle in for winter. Our techs at A1 pest control are experts in trapping and removing wildlife humanely; after inspecting your property and giving a quote for removal, our tech will then trap and remove the offending pest. We also offer residential pest control plans for spiders, ants and any other insects that may be causing problems in your home this winter.
A1 also takes exclusionary measures. Exclusion involves finding the places in your home or business that can act as entry points for pest access and sealing them, which will not only prevent your home from being re-invaded, but also act as a signal to pests nearby that your property is not a good place to find shelter, often driving them off of the entire property altogether. We want to make sure that once a wintertime pest is gone, it stays gone for good.