Insects and wildlife infestations are a year-round problem in our neck of the woods. Whether it’s tiny Ants on your countertops, angry Yellow Jackets buzzing around, or pesky Squirrels making a mess of your attic, there’s always something to be on the lookout for.
Most homeowners don’t realize how seasonal these infestations are. Below, you’ll find a quick chart showing the most common pests throughout the year. Keep reading to learn more about the signs to look for during the cold and wet winter months.
Seasonal pest control cheat sheet
- Box Elders
- Rats & Mice
- Yellow Jackets
- Rats & Mice
- Box Elders
- Rats & Mice
Think like a pest
During the winter, are you looking forward to spending time in the outdoors? Are you planning picnics at the park? Is it a good time to get out and about? Or are you staying home where it’s warm, toasty, and most importantly dry?
They’re hunkering down and nesting, getting by until the first signs of spring. Food is also scarce during the winter months, so pests will be very opportunistic. And what’s a better opportunity than a house full of food?!
When it comes to winter pest control, many home invaders are relatively inactive during the colder months. You must be vigilant and keep an eye out for what may seem like subtle warning signs.
What to watch for during the winter
Wildlife & Rodents
- Droppings – Animal droppings in your pantry, attic, or garage are a telltale sign of an active infestation.
- Sounds – Rats, Mice, Raccoons, and Squirrels look for places to hide where they won’t be seen. But if they’ve set up shop in your home, you may hear scratching or scurrying sounds in your attic, walls, or ceiling.
- Smells – Pests stink — literally! Urine, droppings, rotting food, or even dead animals in your walls or attic produce pungent odors. Keep your nose open for these unexplained smells.
- Damage – You likely won’t see nocturnal animals (those active at night) but you will see signs of their activity. Look for damaged food containers, signs of scratching on baseboards, or greasy marks caused by rodent fur rubbing on walls.
Winter insects, particularly Ants, are a bit easier to spot because you’ll likely see them on the move, searching for food. Areas to inspect include:
- Kitchens and pantries – Anywhere there’s food
- Exterior windows – Anywhere insects can get in and out of your home
- Basements and attics – Anywhere in the home that you don’t visit frequently can be an inviting place for insects to live
What should you do if you see something?
If you spot signs of a winter pest infestation, immediate action is essential. Once rodents, wildlife, or winter insects are in your home, they’re not going anywhere! Here at EcoCare, our pest exterminators can come out to your home quickly, inspect your property (inside and out), and make a plan to eliminate the problem.
If you see any of the warning signs listed above — or if you’d just like peace-of-mind, contact us today.
What shouldn’t you do?
If you suspect bugs, wildlife or rodents are in your home avoid the following:
- Ignoring the problem – It won’t go away and it will get worse.
- Using poison to kill Rats and Mice – Our exterminators rarely use poison to kill rodents inside your home. Poison often leads to dead rats and mice stuck inside your walls, leading to an awful smell and a source of food that can attract other pests.
- Killing bugs without investigating the source – For every winter insect you see, many more are hiding out of sight. If you kill the ants you see in your kitchen, more are waiting to take their place. You must find the source of an infestation if you have any hope of stopping it for good.
Winter pest control tips — an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
It’s a cliche for a reason — it’s true! Winter pest control starts with a preventive and proactive approach during the summer and fall months.
- Focus on your home’s exterior. Fill cracks, seal holes, and apply pest control treatments to prevent unwelcome guests from entering your home.
- Clean the interior of your home thoroughly. Kitchens and bathrooms are especially appealing sources of warmth, moisture, and food.
- Inspect your yard, patio, and outdoor furniture for signs of insect and animal activity. As the weather cools, these pests will start to make their way indoors.
- Be vigilant about the earliest signs of Rats and Mice. The sooner you spot the problem, the easier it will be to fix.
- Clean outdoor items. Before bringing outdoor furniture, toys, grills, etc. into your garage or attic for the winter, clean and inspect them. These could be “Trojan Horses” hiding bugs and rodents!
Invest in year-round pest control
Pest control isn’t a one-time task. The pests don’t stop so you can’t stop either. Many homeowners either get overwhelmed or lose interest in the repetitiveness of keeping their homes pest-free. But even a little lapse can lead to big problems!
At EcoCare, we offer a year-round pest control program designed to prevent pest infestations throughout the year. Our pest insurance program includes:
- 4 seasonal inspections by licensed and experienced exterminators
- Preventive treatments to stop infestations before they start
- Protection against nearly 40 of the most common pests in the Pacific Northwest
- Eco-friendly extermination methods that are safe for people and pets
If you do find signs of a covered pest we’ll come out and take care of it free of charge, including eliminating the problem at its source. We want to prevent the recurrence of the infestation.
Inspect. Exclude. Eliminate.
That’s the proven EcoCare approach.
Bugs in Your House? We’ll Take Care of Them, Naturally.
Give us a call at (503) 222-5566 for a free inspection.