Autumn Pests – What to Look Out For
Everyone loves autumn. From crisp walks through crunchy leaves to comfy jumpers and cosy nights with comfort food, the season brings a lot to the table. However, it’s not just popular with us humans. Plenty of creatures thrive after the end of summer, including dangerous pests and creepy crawlies. Learning about the common autumn pests helps you handle them better when they appear in your home.
Increases in Autumn Pests
Pests head inside our homes for the same reasons as us: food, warmth, and shelter. Cold snaps and seasonal changes force all kinds of creatures into our homes, especially as summer ends. Crucially, animal populations expand over the warmer months, creating noticeably high numbers of pests. As the nights draw in and the food sources dwindle, the chances of unwanted visitors increase. These visitors include the dangerous insects and rodents that we’ll discuss below.
Playing into their role as the honeybee’s angrier cousin, wasps are busy pollinating during British summertime. However, as the Queens cease activities in the nest and start hibernating in autumn, thousands of drones are left at a loose end. These autumn pests often make their way into gardens and homes. Interestingly enough, their taste for sugar can also increase their aggression. UK researchers documented wasps eating ripe and rotten fruit in the Autumn months, becoming drunk from the fermented sugars, and aggressively stinging passers-by.
Fleas and Bedbugs
Seasonal factors also increase the chances of these autumn pests invading. Bed bugs often cling to luggage, coats, and soft furnishings over the summer. Suitcases, backpacks, and travel bags often go on holidays and staycations in the warmer months, and either case creates an opportunity for bedbugs to arrive. When they hitch a ride with returning holidaymakers, bedbugs slowly infest the home before they’re noticed in autumn.
Seasonal changes drive pets indoors, as well as pests. With flea numbers booming over the summer, cats and dogs often bring fleas into living rooms and bedrooms. Fleas survive for days without their animal hosts, and flea-bitten pets often scratch them onto furnishings. Cat and dog fleas can’t survive permanently on human bodies, but they can definitely bite them. If you notice small, red, itchy bites, it might be time to comb the pets for autumn pests.
Mice, Rats, and Squirrels
While they’re all rodents, each of these animals brings unique challenges into your home as autumn pests. A rodent’s teeth keep growing throughout their lives, causing them to gnaw relentlessly.
Mice, rats, and squirrels happily gnaw through wood, plastic, and even metal in order to enter a home as the months grow colder. They may not even have to gnaw through a doorframe or a windowsill if they find a loose pipe or a crack in your brickwork. In particular, mice benefit from their small and flexible stature to enter through gaps as small as 5 millimetres.
Squirrels also make the most of their climbing skills to scale sheer brickwork and access upper windows and attics. Nearby tree branches also offer an inviting route for squirrels to travel onto your roof.
How to Manage Pests in Autumn
Preventative measures provide the best protection against seasonal invaders. Simple steps like increasing your cleaning routine and storing your food more securely help ward off autumn pests looking for food. Regular home maintenance, gardening, and repairs also close the doors to entry, supporting a pest-free home.
If you need more guidance about pest-proofing your home or have seen signs of infestation, speak to professional pest control services.