It’s pretty common to share your home with bugs and insects during the winter months. During the summertime, insects can crawl through very small openings that lead into your residence and run amok in your house. Ladybugs, box elder bugs, ants, silverfish, beetles and spiders are all common offenders in the Midwest region.
People often ask, “Why worry about bug infestations during the cold winter months? Don’t insects typically go dormant in the winter time?” Often times, finding refuge within your home will provide insects with the essentials to thrive within the winter months.
Unfortunately, your home is not protected against creepy critters, no matter what the weather is like outside. If insects can find their way into your home, they are likely living, eating, and breeding right under your nose. Typically, insects can be found within wall voids, basements, storage spaces, and area where moisture can be found.
One of the most widespread and widely publicized nuisances in recent years is the bedbug. Studies have shown that bedbugs are not as susceptible to cold temperatures as people might think. They are a real year-round threat to homes, hotels, and retail businesses everywhere.
There are a few things that you, as a homeowner, can do to help detour or prevent a pest issue within your home. Consider practicing preventative maintenance as a smart and typically “green” choice to help keep the pest population around your home at a controllable level.
Seal Your House
Keeping your house sealed up is something you may do during the cold winter months anyway, but benefits besides a warmer house with lower energy bills come in the form of sealing out unwanted pests. Insects can slither through cracks as smalls as 1/8 inch, however weather stripping, caulk and spackle are good ways to reduce the ways bugs can enter your home. If you happen to feel a draft anywhere in your house, that is a good point of entry for bugs to use as well. Winter is also a good time to replace broken window screens and to install screens over openings to your home such as vents and chimneys.
Maintain Your Yard
Keep things out of your yard and away from your house that may attract pests. If you have a woodpile, try to keep it at least 20 feet away from your house to detour termites and carpenter ants. If you have a garden, make sure to eliminate all leftover produce, so it doesn’t attract bugs and rodents as it begins to rot. Leaf piles also attract bugs, rodents, and wood roaches. Be sure not to let that pile of leaves sit there all winter; it’s a bug condo.
Keep a Clean Home
Leaving food-coated plates in the kitchen sink draws hungry pests and rodents alike. Vacuuming regularly can suck up any bugs that may be burrowing in your carpets, baseboards, or under furniture. Store items like clothes and dry goods in sealable plastic containers rather than cardboard boxes that bugs may eat through or build nests in.
Bed Bugs Beware
As mentioned before, bedbugs do not hibernate during winter months. If you know you have a problem with bedbugs, any time of year will be a good time to address the issue. The most advisable plan of action is to call a professional to help you identify problem properly and get rid of the bedbugs once and for all. Bedbugs are by and large not a do-it-yourself type of pest. In order to effectively and permanently get rid of the bedbug problem, a trained professional is necessary and heat treatments are strongly advised.