Winter has come for Pennsylvania, and we aren’t the only ones looking for a cozy place to wait out the cold. While it may seem that winter is a bug and pest-free time, the opposite is true.

As soon as the frost hits, especially in Northeast Pennsylvania, the cold weather can lead to some unexpected pest problems. While most pests tend to die out in the winter, a few will seek out warm and comfortable places to wait out the winter. In fact, you’re more likely to experience indoor pest problems during the winter.

From Scranton to Wilkes-Barre, any place can be a haven for overwintering pests. Before you snuggle up inside for the season, here are seven reasons why you need to consider pest control during this cold season.

most pests tend to die out in the winter, quite a few will seek out warm and comfortable places1. Spiders are a Problem All Year Round

Whether you see them crawling around your ceiling or creating webs in your basement, spiders are an all-the-time pest, especially in the colder months. As the temperatures drop, spiders will seek out warmer areas, which can lead to big problems if they happen to lay eggs. 

Spiders tend to hand out in basements, crawl spaces, and attics, but you can find them in all corners of the house. While they try to stay hidden, they may just jump up when you grab your holiday decorations. All it takes is a little crack or opening and spiders can find a way inside. While many spiders are harmless, you may come across a few that have quite a nasty bite.

2. Rodents

Much like spiders, rodents can get into your home through the tiniest crack. They can also be more harmful. Rats and mice can enter your home through small spaces or through the attic. From there, they will nest and can cause quite a bit of damage. Rodents tend to gnaw on wires, insulation, and wood beams, which can cause a fire or leave lasting damage.

In addition to structural damage, rodents can carry dangerous diseases like salmonella, rat-bite fever, and more. Unfortunately, rats and mice are social creatures; if you see one, there might be plenty more. They especially seek out areas that suit their needs: plenty of water, food, and a cozy place to keep warm.

3. Overwintering Pests

In some cases, you may not even know you have unwanted visitors until, one day, they suddenly pop up. Some dormant insects will search for a warm attic or basement before the temperatures drop. These insects hide out until the spring and unleash in your home. Stink bugs, cluster flies, and boxelder bugs are infamous overwintering pests that will sneak inside in the fall and reemerge after the thaw.

Some insects, like the Asian lady beetle, can swarm in clusters and damage property. The best way to combat these pests is to stay ahead of the game.

4. House Integrity Weakens

While pests may be searching for a place to stay, your home may be an area that requires attention. Weather can really weaken your home; wind, moisture, and temperature can affect the foundation, roof, and siding. When the defenses are down, all manner of pests can come right in. 

The space doesn’t have to be too large. Rodents and insects can get through small openings under doors, in the foundation, or even tears in window screens. Vents and chimneys are easy entry points as well. Before the winter hits, it’s a good idea to do a once-over of your house just to be sure.

5. Firewood and Fireplaces

Crackling fireplaces aren’t just great for us; woodpiles are an ideal spot for insects and rodents to hideout. Termites, spiders, and other pests will seek out warmth, shelter, and food and wood piles can provide the proper insulation. Of course, with low temperatures, you may not want to make the trek across the yard to grab some wood for the first.

However, if you keep the pile too close to your house, it may be a welcome mat to some unsavory house guests. Additionally, you might be bringing pests in with you.

Whether it’s firewood or decorations, be sure you do a once over to make sure you don’t have any potential stowaways. 

woodpiles are an ideal spot for insects and rodents to hide out.

6. Those Leaf Piles

Leftover fall leaf piles are potential homes to pests. Insects and rodents are searching for that extra warmth, and in fact, you may come across a tick or two buried deep in those leaves. Any form of clutter, from leaves to empty boxes, is a perfect place for pests to wait out warmer temperatures.

7. Excessive Moisture 

With cold temperatures comes some awful winter weather. Snow and sleet can easily add extra moisture to your home, and if you have some fall leaf leftovers in your gutter, you may have a stagnant water problem on your hands.

Pests are always on the lookout for moisture. Leaking pipes, overflowing gutters, and clogged drains are all perfect breeding grounds for potential pests. As the weather comes and goes, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on these areas. 

So, What Can I Do to Stop Pests This Winter?

Before the weather outside gets frightful, do some regular home maintenance. Seal all creaks and replace any weather stripping. Take a careful look at any possible entryways like screens, doorways, vents, and chimneys. Be sure to repair any tears and cracks and add screens where you can.

Remove any clutter from your yard and home, and store firewood away from the house. Finally, keep an eye on areas that tend to build moisture, like gutters, basements, and other areas. If you follow these simple steps, you can stay pest-free all winter long.

Sometimes pests just won’t stop; if you are having trouble with pests or want a professional set of eyes, contact a pest control expert to fortify your home this season.


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