5 Indoor Pests to Look Out For During Winter
With temperatures sliding and snowfall amounts rising, you might think winter is a quiet period for pests in southern Ontario. While many of us encounter pests such as wasps, mites and more during the summer, the onset of winter can also be a big problem for keeping pests under control.
In fact, humans are not the only animals that prefer to stay inside during colder temperatures, as many rodents and insects make their way into our homes and businesses.
In today’s post, GreenLeaf Pest Control will be looking at pests that home and business owners should be on the lookout for during Winter 2021. If you suspect any of these pests are on your property, contact us today and we will give you the professional pest control help you need.
Cockroaches are found all over the world, including here in Canada and Ontario. With over 4000 different cockroach species across the globe, you might be worried about them invading your home or business.
The good news is that only a handful roaches are the pests in Ontario.
- German Cockroach
- Brown-Banded Cockroach
- Oriental Cockroach
- Pennsylvania Wood Cockroach
The reason why cockroaches are common winter pests in Ontario is due to our cold climate.
Although many varieties of cockroaches are very hardy and some are even capable of producing their own type of antifreeze, they still enjoy the warm indoors. With temperatures regularly dropping below freezing and a sudden lack of food, pest cockroaches will seek to invade your home for food and shelter. They typically enter through human transport, such as a bag or garbage bin, or they manage to enter around windows and doors.
The problem with cockroaches in winter is that they are highly social pests. This means that once you have identified one in your home or business, you are quite likely to find more very soon. Cockroaches are prolific breeders and can produce nearly 300 offspring in just one year, meaning pest control is a must even if you can only see just one inside your property. Ignoring them could result in them contaminating your food and spreading illness to others.
Learn more about cockroaches here, including what to do if you spot one inside your property.
While you might associate fleas with pets and spending more time outdoors in the summer, fleas can also invade your home during the winter.
Just like cockroaches, fleas dislike the cold winter temperatures as it slows down their reproduction rate and will typically kill most adult fleas. However, the problem isn’t necessarily the fleas outside, but rather the fleas that are already inside your property.
The drop in temperatures that occurs during late fall will send many adult fleas into your home where they will lay eggs and reproduce. As capable jumpers that can leap 150 times their own height, fleas can travel very easily and will often use pets and even other pests to enter your home.
Getting rid of fleas should be a priority for any homeowner, even though they prefer biting pets over humans. This is because flea bites can make your pet very sick and even cause them to have an allergic reaction.
Discover more about fleas here, including how you can take proactive steps to prevent a flea infestation.
3. Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are commonly known indoor pest that infests many apartment and condo buildings across southern Ontario, including in cities like Toronto.
Keep an eye out for these 6-legged creatures if you can. However, at less than ¼ inch long and generally nocturnal (active at night), adult bed bugs can be difficult to identify until you have been bitten. Fortunately, bed bug bites do not transmit disease, but they will leave with itchy, red and sore marks on your skin.
Bed bugs feed off human blood and will prefer to bite during the night, which is why they are called bed bugs. They do not always live in your bed and can be found in all sorts of hidden nooks in your home, including picture frames, wallpaper and in your car.
4. House Mice
Not all pests are bugs. In fact, some of the most harmful and common pests are rodents like house mice. Despite sounding local, house mice originate all the way from Central Asia – where they traveled over time to become widespread across Canada and the United States.
You may presume house mice are harmless and how similar they are to pet mice. However, house mice can be a nuisance and a health and safety hazard. This is because they enjoy eating human food, such as cereal, bread and other grain products and easily transfer germs in doing so.
Just like many bugs, house mice are fast breeders, especially considering they are mammals. A typical female house mouse will have over 6 babies every three weeks, leading up to 35 offspring per year. If you find house mice on your property, you must act quickly and contact a pest control company before their population is allowed to swell as well as do some major damage to your home and health.
Despite their large numbers and size, it can be difficult to catch house mice as they are nocturnal. You can detect whether they are in your property by looking for signs such as droppings, gnaw marks or the appearance of hidden burrows in your walls and floors. If there are many mice in your home, you may begin to smell their urine, which helps them to communicate with others.
As well as house mice, rats are another type of rodent that will invade your home or business during the cold winter months.
One type of rat, known as the Norway Rat, is a common pest that can easily infest many unprotected homes across Southern Ontario. Norway rats are much larger than a typical house mouse and usually reach about 8 inches in length, meaning they are easily visible if seen in daylight.
Norway rats are not picky when it comes to food too and will gladly eat many different types of food across your home. They are particularly fond of dog food. This can be an issue as many homeowners feed their dog in an open dish on the floor. Therefore, if there is ever any leftover food in this dish, a rat may feed on it during the night without the owner knowing.
Not only are rats a hygiene issue as they spread disease, but they are renowned for their gnawing abilities which can cause major structural damage to your property. If left alone, their population will increase and the risk of you, your family, or your customers catching a serious disease from them increases.
Keep Your Property Well Protected During Winter 2021
Despite spending more time indoors, the Ontario winter can bring many outdoor pests inside your home where they are likely to cause more damage. However, they can prevented and even removed.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Mackie aka Mr. Know Bugs is the VP – Quality Assurance at Greenleaf Pest Control. With over 24 years in the pest protection industry, Mackie is a Toronto, Oakville, Barrie and Newmarket pest control expert. Daniel Mackie is well-known as an industry go-to guy, an innovator of safe, effective pest control solutions, and is a regular guest on HGTV. In his free time, he is an avid gardener and beekeeper. According to Mackie: “We are Protectors of Public Health”