People ask this question a lot. Do I really need pest control in the winter?  The answer, from a Board Certified Entomologist, is YES. Although it may be cold outside, the inside of your living space is warm. People keep the inside temperature of their homes between 68 to 75 degrees. Some may be cooler and some warmer, but the fact is, it is warmer inside than outside.

Insects, rodents, and other animals want to come inside to get out of the cold, and some of those overwinter in our homes. Most people are unaware of this and let populations of insects build up in their homes. Boxelder bugs, ladybugs, and the wasp will enter the home in large numbers and be a problem throughout the winter as the home is warm. The home’s warm temperature can confuse the insects and cause them to be active all winter long. Our office gets calls on these insects throughout the winter.

Once some of these insects get into the walls of your home, it can be challenging to get them out, so the best approach to control overwintering pests is through preventive efforts: the location and access to voids where these pests hide are sometimes difficult to locate and treat. Finding and sealing holes coming into the home can be done in the springtime. Weep holes and cracks should be plugged, and attic and foundation vents should be screened to prevent these invaders from entering your home.

Rodents cause lots of calls to our office during the winter. This is our busiest time of the year with this pest. Rodents can enter the home for food, water or shelter, or all three. The populations of rodents can become very large in a short amount of time and, if left untreated, can create a big problem in your home. Some of the insect proofing methods I discussed with insects can be used for rodents as well. I have multi-feed tamper-proof bait stations around my home and keep the bait in them year-round. This helps keep rodents from coming into my home to feed. I feed them on the outside. I also keep multi-catch stations in my garage as 90% of the time, rodents enter the house thru the garage.

Some interesting facts about the house mouse ( Mus musculus )

  • tend to be nocturnal
  • are small enough to squeeze through a hole the size of a dime
  • generally hide in inaccessible areas
  • spread very quickly through you home
  • multiply rapidly. If you don’t find and get rid of all the mice they will rebound in a few months

Here are some areas to inspect for mice:

  • all food areas
  • restrooms
  • pipe chases
  • under sinks, fridges, and stoves

Just remember this, a mouse can live its entire life under a stove that never gets moved.

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