Pests are a nuisance that are annoying, create damage, and gross out you and your family. During winter months, many pests will enter your home seeking food and warmth. That’s why many homeowners turn to a pest control service in the winter. Here are some of the most common pests to affect homes this winter in southcentral PA.
Five Common Pests to Invade Your Home This Winter
Spiders can live and breed indoors year round, but fall spider invasion is very common. As the weather gets colder, spiders will find ways to enter structures. These entry points can include but are not limited to gaps around garage doors, around windows, under doors, and even under the siding, through a crack, and into the structure. Spiders can live a long time without a meal (they eat insects and other spiders), so it is easy for them to take up a permanent residence in your home and stay indefinitely. They can even reproduce successfully indoors.
Silverfish are fascinating insects that have existed absolutely unchanged on Earth since the time of the dinosaurs. They will commonly inhabit attics and roof lines, but can be found living just about anywhere inside a structure. Their primary food source is starches and cellulose, so they love to eat paper, book bindings, and adhesives. In attics, paper backed insulation and stored boxes provide all of the food they need to survive and reproduce, and populations left untreated can eventually number into the thousands of insects. Silverfish can cause considerable damage to paper products as well as natural fabrics.
These unsightly predators are very commonly found inside structures, especially in damp basements and scrawl spaces where they are often left undisturbed. Where there is moisture, there are usually insects, and that is the primary food source for the house centipede. Often called “thousand leggers”, centipedes illicit a negative response from just about any person who sees one in their home, though I have had people tell me they don’t mind seeing them because they know they are helping to manage insect populations. Interestingly, silverfish and centipedes are often confused, in name only, as there is really no similarity at all between the two.
Stored Product Pests
Stored product pests are insects that infest grain based food products. The most common of these is probably the Indian meal moth, but cigarette beetles, red flour beetles, sawtooth grain beetles, and weevils are also commonly found indoors. They are most often found in bird seed and pet foods, but can also be found in flour, corn meal, nuts, and some spices. Finding and removing the infested product is the key to eliminating an active stored product pest problem. Good storage practices and not keeping grain based food products for long periods of time are the keys to prevention.
Any structure can be invaded by mice in the fall, but mice will also happily live indoors all year round. If caught in the early stages, trapping mice as they come in can be very effective. Once they have started an indoor breeding population, then you may need to use rodent baits to get them under control. Mice have no control over their bladders or bowels, so they leave a trail of urine and fecal matter everywhere they travel. While the droppings are readily visible, the urine can only be seen with the use of a black light, so if you find dropping is your kitchen drawers, everything in the drawers should be thoroughly cleaned.
Prevent Winter Pests with Targeted Treatments
Treatment for all of these pests is included with Tomlinson Bomberger’s Four Seasons Pest Control program. The winter service focuses primarily on treatment for these and other non-climate dependent invaders.