Whilst summer is often the busiest time of year for pest infestations, pests don’t just disappear when the nights start drawing in.
Pests are relentless all year round. However, the types of pests you may have to deal with does change according to the seasons. For example, we’re all used to being bothered by wasps, flies, and creepy crawlies in the summer. But, as I’m sure you have noticed, their numbers begin to dwindle as the temperature drops.
Yes, insect control problems will decrease as the seasons change from summer to winter; however, the cold brings new pests to worry about. This article will discuss common pests to look out for in winter, how to protect your home from such pests, and how to get rid of them. Continue reading to find out what could be living in your home this winter…
What Happens to Pests in the Winter?
During the winter months, some animals will hibernate away until the spring when the temperatures rise again. However, not all animals rely on this survival method and remain active year-round.
Unfortunately for you, as the temperatures drop, many pests will turn to domestic and commercial properties searching for shelter, warmth and protection during the winter months.
Top 5 Most Common Winter Pests
To help you fend off the winter pests this year, we have compiled a list of the UK’s most common winter pests and the signs to look out for when identifying their presence:
Rats are the most common pest in the UK all year round. The sheer number of them and their rapid breeding cycles makes them hard to avoid.
In the winter, it is common for rats to enter properties looking for shelter and food. Not only will they keep you up as they scuttle around during the early hours of the morning, but they can also cause severe structural damage to your property. Rats will chew their way through any materials they can find, including wooden beams, storage containers – even electrical wires.
As well as physical damage, rats are also known carriers of diseases, meaning their presence on your property creates a health and safety risk for your loved ones. Furthermore, rat bites are incredibly dangerous, and sometimes even fatal.
Squirrel infestations are much less common than rat problems; however, when the temperatures drop, their survival instincts will kick in just the same, and they will enter your property looking for shelter and warmth.
Typically squirrels will use tree branches to climb up to your roofline and enter via the smallest of holes in fascias and soffits. They will then make their nests in your loft space. Lofts make an ideal home for squirrels as they are often full of materials they can build their nests from and are usually quiet, warm areas of the house.
As with all rodents, they will chew through anything they can find whilst leaving a trail of excrement behind, creating both structural damages to your home and a health risk to anyone living on the property.
Mice are very similar to rats and squirrels in the sense that they will enter your home via small gaps in the exterior as they hunt for shelter, food and warmth during the winter.
Again, they will, unfortunately, cause damage to your items via chewing, which can develop into further problems depending on the severity and the materials chewed. And just like their fellow rodent counterparts, mice will defecate anywhere they go creating a health risk in your property.
They may be relatively harmless, at least in the UK; however, nobody wants a spider infestation in their home. So while we’re used to seeing them more frequently in the warmer months, we’re more likely to see them inside our homes in the winter.
Spiders enter homes looking for warmth and shelter; however, once they’ve made themselves at home, they will begin to lay eggs – laying hundreds at a time. It is easy to see then how one spider can easily turn into a spider infestation rather quickly!
Cockroaches need a constant water supply to survive – especially in the winter when resources are more limited. They will often be found in hard to reach places near appliances, so check in and around appliances like fridges, washing machines, freezers etc. They will also enter your home to look for food, particularly things lying around like crumbs and rubbish.
Cockroaches are dirty pests that will contaminate anything they touch, including surfaces, floors and food. In addition, they carry diseases that affect both humans and animals, therefore creating a health risk to not only your loved ones but your pets too!
How to Prevent Winter Pest Infestations
Luckily there are several things you can do to protect your home and prevent pests from taking over this winter:
- Secure your home – Take a good look around your home for any holes or potential entry points that pests could use to access your property. Pay particular attention to your roofline, as this is the most common area that pests will take advantage of.
- Keep your garden tidy – Overflowing bins and overgrown gardens provide a reliable food source and hiding space for pests. Also, aim to keep shrubbery away from your building as these can be used to gain access to your property.
- Check your chimneys – Make sure you have a cap on your chimney where possible to prevent unwanted guests from entering this way.
- Check what you’re bringing in – Take the time to check things you are bringing into your home from outside, like Christmas trees, for example. You may be unknowingly bringing in pests when you do your shopping or gardening, so be sure to keep an eye out and, if necessary clean items outside before bringing them in.
- Regular checks – Pests are more likely to nest in areas that are quiet and not regularly used. Make an effort to check these areas of your home regularly for the presence of faeces and nests. The quicker you discover a pest problem, the easier it is to solve.
How to Get Rid of Pests in Winter
If it’s too late and pests have already made their home on your property, you have a couple of options. There are some DIY alternatives on the market, but when it comes to pests, the only real option is to call your local pest control professionals.
At Integrum, we have over 70 years of experience in the pest control industry. We deal with domestic and commercial pest problems all over London and the South East of England. So if you’ve noticed signs of pests in your home this winter, then call our friendly team on 0208 914 7894. Our specialists work around the clock putting their expertise and knowledge to good use and ridding homes of pests all across London.