A run down of some of the pests still active during the winter months and how some, such as rats and mice, may be even more common at this time of the year.
The colder months don’t necessarily mean the end of unwanted guests
You may think one of the compensations of the shorter days and lower temperatures of autumn and winter is the end to annoying pests, but unfortunately this isn’t the case.
While many pests such as insects do indeed take the winter off, there are plenty more who not only linger during the colder weather but may actually be more prevalent as they use your home to warm up and find food as their usual sources tend to decline in colder conditions.
So what pests should you still be on the lookout for when the thermometer drops?
Rats and mice
These utterly despised pests may, if anything, be more inclined to try and pay you a visit in the colder months as they seek easier sources of food when their usual supplies become scarcer during the winter.
They’ll happily break into a packet of cereal left lying on the worktop, and reward your generosity by gnawing away through wood, wires and other material in your home so causing havoc and damage in return for a warm environment and a meal.
Rats in particular are a formidable foe; they can gnaw their way through materials as strong as concrete, brick and even certain types of steel. If you have a winter visitation from rats or mice call reputable pest control experts in as soon as possible.
While they may be thought of as cute and fluffy, squirrels are really rodents with a bushy tail and, just like rats and mice, can cause untold damage through their gnawing.
There are specific laws concerning the destroying or otherwise of squirrels depending on whether it’s the red or grey variety. The red squirrel is rare and a protected species so it’s illegal to damage a shelter being used by one. The more common grey squirrel, on the other hand, is treated differently and it’s actually an offence to return one to the wild if caught; due to their high numbers they should be humanely destroyed.
While you may think wasps die off and disappear at the end of the summer, that’s not entirely the case. The queen and some drones will hibernate in a warm and dry area over the winter months, and the queen begins to build a nest once the weather warms up.
Householders may get a shock when they see a small nest suddenly appear although it’s a process that actually would have got under way some time before it’s noticeable.
Flies and cockroaches
They can still be found indoors during the winter months, and so the unpleasant diseases they carry such as salmonella, E coli and dysentery are still a risk.
Service environments such as some restaurants and hospitals are at risk from this pair of undesirable pests; left unchecked they can multiply very quickly.
Saying “no” to pests over the winter
Don’t drop your guard just because winter has set in. As you would in the warmer months, discourage pests by sealing up any access points – even small holes are enough for some unwanted visitors such as mice.
Keep areas around the home tidy, avoid clutter and keep bins securely closed and emptied frequently and don’t leave foodstuffs lying around – even pet food can attract hungry rodents short on their regular food supply during winter conditions.
If you spot any clear signs of pest presence such as droppings or gnawing marks, then call an expert pest controller in as soon as you can.