Here in Texas, we often look forward to that first freeze to kill off those pesky mosquitos and annoying house flies. Thank goodness we get a little reprieve from mosquitos! But, the truth is, winters in Texas are often relatively mild compared to northern states, and there are a whole slew of pests that do survive the winter no problem! Sure, some pests become less active during winter, but that doesn’t mean they’re gone. This is why winter pest control is so important!

Just like we tend to spend more time indoors during colder temperatures, pests and rodents are looking for a toasty warm place to hunker down for the winter, too. If your home or business is warm and has a food and water source, your property is the perfect location for critters to ride out the cooler months. Let’s take a look at some of the most common pests active in winter.

Mice & Rats

Several baby mice nestled together in wood chips.Remember back in September when we discussed how to keep rodents out of your house? Now more than ever they are seeking a warm shelter. (And they never quit producing offspring!) Able to squeeze through holes as small as 1/2” in diameter, it’s incredibly important to check your home for any and all entry points. Remove or repair any water sources such as leaky pipes or water bowls for pets. Mice & rats are not only capable of doing physical damage, but they also spread diseases. Yuck!

Cockroaches

I don’t know about y’all, but I’m definitely not interested in sharing my home with cockroaches! It should come as no surprise that cockroaches can survive the winter in Texas considering some can survive a nuclear attack. These guys are exceptionally resilient, and, that characteristic combined with the warmth and food sources provided in your home, you can bet they’ll be moving in if you’re not taking any preventative measures. One of the most common ways cockroaches find their way indoors during the winter months is by hitching a ride on firewood. Not only are cockroaches attracted to firewood, but so are mice and rats. Here are a few firewood storage tips to help minimize the pests:

  • Firewood stacked and stored in a shed.Do not store firewood indoors.
  • Store firewood outdoors at least 20 feet from your home.
  • Store it up off the ground by using blocks, bricks, or a log rack.
  • Keep it dry. Dry wood is less appealing to pests & rodents.
  • Visually inspect the logs before bringing them in.
  • Burn firewood immediately once bringing it indoors.

Other helpful tips to prevent cockroaches from riding out winter in your home is to seal up food in airtight containers (including pet food), remove trash from your home quickly, and get rid of the water sources.

Spiders

Very dark photo of a black widow spider in a web.As other pests begin to move indoors for the winter, spiders will follow their food source. While spiders tend to be one of the least destructive pests indoors, most of us can agree that they are unwelcome house guests! (It is important to note, however, that Texas is home to two poisonous spiders, the Black Widow and the Brown Recluse. These guys tend to stay hidden, but if you do see one, it’s important that you call 855Bugs as soon as possible to treat your home.)

There are a few things you can do to help prevent spiders in the first place. As with any pest, it’s important to seal all cracks and entry points. Clean up and/or trim back any vegetation near the home. Inside, keep the home neat and tidy avoiding clutter. Remove cob webs as soon as you spot them.

These are just three of the pests that remain active in winter. Termites, ants, earwigs, and many others all survive winter, as well, though they are less active than in warmer months. Pest and rodent control throughout the winter months can keep you from being unpleasantly surprised once it starts warming up and all the critters come out to play! Call 855Bugs today to schedule your free inspection and get set up on our Don’t Bug Me program offering year ’round coverage.