Your Guide to Common Winter Pests - Accel Pest and Termite Control

Your Guide to Common Winter Pests

18 Jan 2024 in Rodents
Rat crawling in a pile of winter clothing with holiday lights in the background.

As the colder temperatures settle in, many common pests look to do the same in a warm, cozy new home like yours. Fortunately, knowing what winter bugs and rodents to look out for can help you prevent or combat an infestation. Just follow this guide from Accel Pest and Termite Control for expert advice on common pest problems!

Mice and Rodents

Although they can be a menace year-round, rodents tend to be especially persistent about finding new homes as colder temperatures hit and outdoor food sources become more scarce. Because homes offer excellent shelter and ample food, rodent control is a particularly common need for homeowners during the winter months. Rats and mice are common invaders, so you’ll want to look out for the following signs of a rodent infestation:

  • Scurrying or squeaking sounds, especially in walls
  • Small rodent droppings
  • Chew marks on wiring, baseboards, or food packaging
  • Small nests of shredded household or natural materials

If you notice these signs or see one or more rodents in your home, you’ll want to act quickly to resolve the infestation. Rodents can carry various diseases dangerous to humans and even carry fleas that could be bothersome for your pets. In most cases, professional pest control will be your best route to fully eliminate a rodent infestation. Removing one or two rodents can’t guarantee there aren’t more hiding out of sight.

Do Mice Hibernate?

While you may have heard that rats and mice hibernate during the winter, this isn’t true. Rats and mice stay active during the winter, and because of this, you unfortunately can’t assume you won’t get a new mouse or rat infestation during the colder months.

How Do I Keep Mice and Rodents Out of My Home?

Like all pests, rodents are attracted to shelter, food, and water, which most of our homes easily provide. While good housekeeping and landscaping can help knock out some food sources that attract mice, it’s nearly impossible to make your home completely unappealing to these scavengers—we simply live too well for these invaders not to want to scurry in to join us! Because of this, ensuring the exterior of your home is sealed is essential.

Cockroaches

A cockroach sits on a textured piece of concrete

As one of the most dreaded household pests, cockroaches remain an issue during the wintertime. These hardy, disease-carrying pests are known for reproducing quickly. This means that having even a couple of cockroaches is a serious threat of a full infestation, no matter the time of year. Because halting an active infestation can be a battle, cockroach prevention is key.

How Can I Prevent a Cockroach Infestation?

While battling a cockroach infestation is nearly impossible without professional cockroach control methods, there are cockroach prevention steps you can take to help keep your home cockroach-free. Like with preventing rodents, you’ll want to make sure gaps and cracks around your home are sealed, and you’ll want to be extra careful about practicing good housekeeping.

If you travel for the holidays and notice cockroaches in any of the places you stay, you’ll want to carefully shake out and clean any luggage you bring home so you don’t bring cockroaches back with you. Additionally, general preventive pest control treatments can help you stop cockroaches from entering and thriving in your home.

How Do I Identify Cockroaches?

There are several kinds of cockroaches you may find in your home, and the most common types range in color from brown to black. Some have small wings, and some can even fly. Common cockroaches also vary in size. German cockroaches, for example, can be just around half an inch long, while other roaches can grow up to a couple inches long. However, most cockroaches will have a tough outer shell and long antennae. If you need help making an identification, pest control experts can help you identify bugs and spot the signs of a cockroach infestation.

Spiders

As another year-round threat, spiders love to nestle into nooks in your home during the winter. For this reason, you’ll want to keep an eye out for spiders throughout the colder months and consider putting a preventive pest and spider control plan in place to help keep them at bay.

Is Winter Spider Season?

Although we often associate spiders with Halloween, spider season is typically considered to be in the spring and summer. The warmer months are when spiders are most active in general. However, like other pests, spiders have an increased need for shelter as colder temperatures move in. So you may be more likely to see them indoors during the winter. Additionally, some spiders have a breeding season in the late summer or fall, which can lead to an uptick in sightings and activity around this time.

Termites

Wooden baseboard showing severe water and termite damage.

Termites are a highly destructive and hard-to-detect pest we wish would have an offseason. Unfortunately, termites can thrive year-round, and established colonies will cause destruction in your home throughout the year. Because of the costly damage termites can cause to your home, you’ll want to keep them on your radar during the winter months and make sure you have a proactive termite control plan in place to protect your property.

When Do Termites Swarm?

While termites are active all year, you may be less likely to see them during the winter. That’s because most termites have a swarming and reproductive season in late spring or early summer. During this time, you may see winged termites flying near your home, alerting you to a possible infestation. 

Because this behavior is seasonal, not seeing flying termites in the winter doesn’t mean termites aren’t there. It just means they aren’t flying out to form new colonies. During the winter, you’ll want to stay alert for any signs of wood damage and keep up with regular termite inspections to ensure you don’t have a colony hiding in or around your home.

Stay Pest-Free Throughout the Year With Accel Pest and Termite Control

When the winter temperatures send bugs and rodents your way, Accel Pest and Termite Control can help! Our QualityPro-accredited pest control team can help with preventive treatments and is equipped with winter bug and rodent control solutions to help you knock out active pest infestations. Just contact our team to learn more and schedule a service. In many cases, our pest control team can even do same-day treatments for pressing pest concerns.