Pests to watch out for this winter

Winter is fast approaching and you’d be wrong to think that you won’t have any pest problems until spring. Spiders, earwigs and other insects are looking for a cosy place to live during the winter months and your home will provide them with everything they need to survive. Taking a few extra steps can help keep them out.

We’ve put together a list of the pests to watch out for this winter and how to deter them.

Termites

You may think that termites are deterred by cold weather or that they are strictly warm weather pests.  They feed non stop 24 hours a day on anything which contains cellulose. The subterranean termite which is very active in Virginia, is the biggest economic pest in the United States.

How to deter termites

  • Avoid timber to ground contact.  Any outdoor timber posts or decking should be supported with an appropriate concrete base.
  • If timber to ground contact is unavoidable, treat the timber with the appropriate preservatives.
  • Store timber, firewood and compost away from the main structure.
  • Fix any leaking pipes as termites are attracted to moist areas.
  • Remove any standing water from the property which may be pooling on the roof or foundation.
  • Keep downspouts free from blockages.
  • Check your crawlspace for humidity or moisture.  This type of environment encourages termite activity.  Invest in a vapour barrier and ensure the crawlspace is thoroughly ventilated.  Vents should be free from debris and not obstructed by shrubs.
  • Use mulch sparingly.  Mulch traps moisture in, again promoting a conducive environment for termites.
  • Check your foundation for any cracks and crevices and caulk them.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are widespread across the United States and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.  They are very hardy and can survive up to a year without feeding.  Bed bugs are very good at hiding and an adult is about the size of an apple seed.

How to deter bed bugs

  • If you are travelling over the holidays or getting away for a weekend, wash all clothes on your return and vacuum your luggage.
  • Checking bedsheets for rusty brown stains which are tell tale blood spots.
  • Check the mattress or box spring, checking the folds and seams of the mattress.
  • Avoid second hand furniture, especially directly off the street.

Overwintering pests

Spiders and insects such as earwigs and beetles make their way into your home and nest over the fall and winter months.  Some insects will lay their eggs in your home, later emerging in spring.

How to deter overwintering pests

  • Check the outside of your home, on the southern and western walls as well as the foundation for any cracks and caulk.
  • Check windows and door seals and ensure a tight fitting.
  • Repair screening around doors and vents.
  • Give your home a thorough clean with a vacuum to remove any unwanted pests you may come across.  Don’t forget to empty the vacuum once done.

Rodents

The cooler months are the opportune time for rodents to find solace and warmth in your home.  They are one of the most successful mammals on earth for adapting and colonizing.

How to deter rodents

  • Store any open food sources like fruit in your refrigerator.
  • Seal cracks and crevices around the foundation.
  • Remove moisture and harbourage sources.
  • Store firewood away from the structure.
  • Remove any debris piles.
  • Any items stored in the attic, ensure they are stored in sealed plastic containers. Cardboard boxes are easily bitten into by rodents.

If you would like peace of mind for the winter months, we have over 20 years experience in the industry and offers an affordable solution with ethical standards of business.  We service from the Outer Bank to MoyockVirginia Beach and Hampton.  Contact us or call on 252-480-2889 / 252-453-3693 (North Carolina) or 757-729-1744 (Virginia) for your friendly and professional extermination inspection today and we can help you be pest free.