Why does the winter season attract more pests to my home?


As winter approaches, you might be ecstatic about or dreading the snow and colder weather. With cold weather comes the need for animals and insects to find warm places to shack up for the winter. This often puts homeowners in the uncomfortable position of their home being infested by pests, be it rodents, insects, or raccoons. Continue reading for a look at problems pest cause and why various pests come to your home during the winter.


            The list of problems caused by nuisance wildlife can stretch on to infinity. To cover some of the biggest issues, beginning with damage is appropriate. A variety of pests and insects can cause all kinds of damage to your home. For example, termites and other insects can chew through many of the building materials in your home as well as your belongings. Rats and mice can chew on wiring and potentially can cause fires in your home. Raccoons and skunks can burrow under your home causing vast tunneling damage, which in extreme cases, could weaken your foundation and cause structural damage.

            In addition to the damage they cause, pests also have the potential to spread disease and contaminate food. For example, rodents love to get into your packaged foods and will eat them, as well as leave their droppings in them. Rodents, insects, and larger pests carry all kinds of nasty viruses and bacteria that can infect humans and cause serious, sometimes fatal, problems. These two problems of damage and disease are the two most serious and important reasons to get rid of pests quickly.


            Rodents dislike the cold of winter, as they always find a warm place to go. Whether they burrow near a heated area or they find their way into a home, they value warmth and food availability. One of the most common places for rats to go inside of your home is the attic. They love attics because of the warmth of the insulation, which provides a great place to live and have their young. This is especially true during the cold months of winter.


            Skunks love to find warm, sheltered places to stay for the winter, as they hate being in the cold weather all day and night. In nature, they often find or make burrows and stay inside as much as possible. If they find a home, you better believe they will make every effort to stay close to it. Most of the time, skunks will find shelter under your home or your deck, as they find the house’s warmth provides an excellent shelter.


            Raccoons are a highly versatile animal that likes to semi-hibernate during the winter. They may be active during warm spells or if they get really hungry, but they generally like to just stay inactive and warm. When it comes to being near populated areas, the raccoon loves to find access to attics. The insulation inside of attics, along with the warm air from the house is perfect for raccoons. In some cases, they may also live below your house if they cannot find access to the attic.


            While there are many species of insects that die as cold weather approaches, there are also many that are “overwinterers”. These insects prefer to find warm places to stay during the winter. Think along the lines of box elder bugs, ladybugs, and certain flies, as well as many other similar insects. They often try to make their way to sunny areas within homes, such as near windows or any other sources of light.


            Seemingly an unusual pest to have problems with, many homeowners would be surprised to know that squirrels are frequently found in attics. They gain easy access to any attic holes or gaps because of their ability to climb. During cold winter months, squirrels love nestling into the insulation of attics, and in some cases, often get into the flue of your warm chimney.

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