Winter pests might seek shelter in your house, warns pest control company

Seasonal data suggests that the unseasonal warmth of the fall might have caused an expansion of local pest populations.

Blizzards and snowstorms affect pests as well as people—and might send rodents, crawling insects, and more scurrying and burrowing into the walls of your home.

Seasonal data suggests that the unseasonal warmth of the fall might have caused an expansion of local pest populations. Now that the cold has set in, warmth, water, and food are more scarce. That makes human residences an even more attractive place to try and survive.

The top six pests to watch out for include:

o As well as spreading disease, rodents can cause structural damage by burrowing through walls. They can cause fires by chewing through electrical wires and causing shorts. Finally, if they nest for a winter in your walls, they can damage insulation, creating cold spots in the home, and leave behind large amounts of urine and feces. The smell and risk of disease contamination is unpleasant to say the least.

  • Raccoons, skunks, and other wildlife

o These animals scavenge for food in the winter. In addition to making a mess, they can cause structural damage with their very capable claws and teeth, and may spread parasites such as fleas, mites, and ticks.

o Birds can make pests of themselves by nesting in building crevices, drains, gutters, roof underhangs, and more. These nests then create drainage issues and fire hazards.

o Insects such as centipedes can bite or sting in self-defense, particularly if trapped in a confined space such as a shoe or shirt collar. Termites can do incredible structural damage as they consume wood.

o Cockroaches tend to thrive best in the wet spring months, but many outdoor species will be seeking shelter in the winter. They can crawl up from the garbage or sewer and spread harmful bacteria onto counter-tops and tables.

o Spiders don’t bite unless threatened, and can be helpful in keeping other more harmful insects under control. Nevertheless, their venom can be toxic and cause irritation or secondary infections if aggravated.

Steps to prevent pests during the winter months include sealing openings with pest-resistant caulk or foam; trimming back vegetation to give a clear view of foundations and walls; storing garbage bins at a distance from the building; tidying yards to eliminate hiding places; and making sure bird feeders and other outdoor pet feeding areas are cleaned up or inaccessible.

For more pest control tips, see Orkin Canada’s list at

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