Give Unwanted “Guests” the Cold Shoulder This Winter
As the weather cools, pests seek warmth and shelter indoors. Rodents, box elder bugs and lady bugs can be extremely problematic in the winter months.
Rodents are known to carry and spread a variety of diseases and can contaminate food. The three most common rodents in the U.S. are the Norway rat, the roof rat and the house mouse.
Box elder bugs, which are black and marked with red lines, may not be a pest you recognize, but they live in maple, ash and box elder trees in the warm seasons and make their way indoors during colder months. Like the box elder bug, the more familiar lady bug can be a nuisance this time of year, as they both seek warmth and shelter. Fortunately, neither pest poses any health risks.
“Just like us, these pests love to come inside for the food, water and optimal temperatures,” says Orkin Technical Director Ron Harrison, Ph.D. “Winter pests don’t have to be a problem, but they do require some preventive maintenance.”
Dr. Harrison recommends the following tips to help ensure your home doesn’t provide the comfort pests need:
- Seal or repair cracks in siding, door/window screens and gaps around pipes entering the home. Rats can squeeze through quarter-sized openings and mice can fit through dime-sized holes. Sealing cracks and crevices will also help prevent all pests from gaining entry.
- Regularly inspect the exterior and interior of your home for droppings and rub marks. Rodents like to be close to walls and can often leave tell-tale signs behind.
- Trim vegetation around your home to remove any natural pathways for pests to get indoors. To stop box elder bugs from multiplying, it is often helpful to remove their host trees from the area surrounding your home.
- Make sure to clean crumbs and spills from countertops and floors, and don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink. Empty garbage and vacuum frequently. Pests can make a meal out of just about anything.
- Store all food — including pet food — in tightly sealed containers.
Contact your Orkin specialist today to help prevent winter pests from giving you the winter blues.