Common Winter Pests and How to Combat Them
When people think of pests, often they are associated with the summer months. When temperatures are warmer, it’s true that there are most pests around, with insects and flies causing particular problems for homes and businesses. However, that isn’t to say that winter is pest free. The colder months can also attract a whole host of pests which can wreak havoc on homes and businesses as the nights begin to get longer and colder and the weather worsens. This article will look at some of the common winter pests that could make their homes in your buildings.
Mice and Rats
Mice and rats are probably the number one most common pest that afflicts UK homes in the winter. They tend to show up more in winter because there’s a lack of natural food sources in nature for them during this time. For this reason, mice and rats will often target your food. It is worth keeping an eye on any food packaging left out to make sure they haven’t managed to nibble their way in!
Mice and rats are able to get into your property through tiny holes where they know there’s warmth and food, and will likely stay put until they are forced out.
Both rats and mice have the potential to cause massive damage to your home and business as well. They will eat anything they can, including wires and walls, which can cause electrical and structural damage to your property that might be very expensive to repair.
Squirrels might look cute in the wild, but they are significantly less appealing when they are in your attic spaces gnawing through everything they can find! This includes, like mice and rats, structural supports and any electrical wiring. Squirrels can also be incredibly aggressive when you try to remove them. This can make them very difficult to deal with.
It is also worth noting that there are specific laws regarding the removal of squirrels.
Because there are so many grey squirrels in the UK, if one is caught, it is an offence to return it back to the wild. Legally, the caught squirrel must be humanely destroyed.
For red squirrels, the exact opposite is true. As they are a protected species, it is actually illegal to destroy or damage a shelter being used by a red squirrel; this includes attic spaces where they may choose to live. It is therefore highly advisable to discuss any action you take with a professional when squirrels are involved so that you can be sure you are following the laws.
Flies and Cockroaches
These are undoubtedly less common winter pests than mice, rats, and squirrels, but they are still worth looking out for. Flies and cockroaches are attracted into homes and businesses by the warmth, and once they’re inside, they multiply incredibly quickly.
It is therefore important to deal with the problem as early as possible before it becomes a full-blown infestation.
Flies and cockroaches are also notorious for spreading dirt and disease; if you own a service-based business such as a hotel or a restaurant, this flies and cockroaches can cause particular problems.
Wasps and Hornets
Wasps and hornets are technically not winter pests. However, even though the drones die off in the winter, the queen will not. The queen looks for a safe, warm, and dry place to hibernate and that can often be in sheds or attics.
When it starts to get warmer, the queen will then begin to chew through the wood to make a nest in which she can lay her eggs and restart the colony. This can mean that over winter, the development of a new nest can begin and by spring the nest will seem to have appeared overnight.
In reality, the nest was in the process of being built for much longer, but many people won’t spot this until its already too late.
How to Keep Out These Common Winter Pests
There are some really simple things you can do to reduce the risk of inviting winter pests into your home or business. Firstly, you should check around the outside of your property to ensure that there aren’t any visible small access points. If there are, they should be sealed up as quickly as possible. This will help prevent small rodents from gaining access. It is better to be over-cautious with this; people are always surprised how small the holes rodents can enter through really are!
It is also worth thinking carefully about food disposal and storage. Any bins, but especially those containing food waste, should be stored as far away from your property as feasible. They should also be securely closed and properly sealed. Being careful with food storage within your property can help too – avoid storing any food on surfaces or the floor.
Make sure to also regularly check any unused spaces. Doing this will ensure you spot the signs of infestation as early as possible, which makes it much easier to deal with.
What to do if you Discover Pests in Your Property?
The best thing to do if you do happen to discover pests in your property, is to contact professional pest control. In order to get rid of pests for good, traps and other means of disposal that are available in supermarkets might not do the trick. To be truly effective at getting rid of pests permanently, all droppings and eggs also need to be removed.
Confirm a Kill has more than 25 years of experience in dealing with unwanted pests year-round and can help you deal effectively with any winter pests you might find in your property.