A: Pest control in the winter can be helpful for controlling pests that will emerge in early spring. There are also certain animals and insects that will try to seek harborage in the home during the winter. So, yes pest control in the winter is an option and sometimes needed.
We know that it’s impossible to think about winter right now with summer beating us down. However, pest control in Houston is something you should always plan one step ahead. For example—all the summer pests we’ll be dealing with shortly, we treat most customers properties in May. That treatment should get them through the summer IF they have been getting routine preventative pest control.
Once the heatwave begins to taper off in Houston in September, you’ll want to think about winter pest control. Granted, you may not see pests in Houston during the winter, however, they are still there—they just hide in different spots during colder months.
Since bugs are still around—creeping and crawling around looking for shelter, water, and food you need to be alert. Most people in Houston mistakenly think that once the temps dip below 65° that their bug problems are gone till March.
Sadly, this is far from the truth, especially here in Houston where winters are pretty mild. That being said, your home could benefit from pest control during the winter, and year-round for that matter.
But, since we’re talking about winter pest control in Houston, let’s address the, “there are no bugs in winter” myth.
Where Do The Bugs In Houston Go During Winter?
During the hot Texas summers, it’s not uncommon to spot an army of ants trotting down your curb. It’s even more common to see aggressive flies and mosquitos sizing you up. However, during winter, that activity is altered.
Even though you may not spot a bug in winter, they’re still there just trying to survive the colder months. Typically winged insects such as dragonflies, moths, and butterflies, migrate south towards the Valley or into Mexico. However, many bugs remain here and rely on hibernation to survive the winter, similar to bears.
When insects hibernate it brings about a drop in their metabolism and they enter a deep sleep state. For the bugs to hibernate, they need a safe and warm place protected from predators and the elements. Often, those safe spaces are in your chimney, attic, or within your walls and foundation. Insects also take shelter in natural habitats as well such as trees, under groundcover, and brush.
And, as is the reason for most winter bug problems, many bugs simply move indoors—inside you or your neighbor’s home. What’s more troubling is they may come into your home simply to hibernate—you won’t know they’re even there. However, come spring, you’ve got a huge problem on your hands.
It is for this reason and many more that we will discuss, that you should continue pest control in the winter
Why Do Bugs Enter Houses During Winter?
Many of the bugs that Champions Pest Control encounters in Houston are arthropods. In plain English, that means spiders, cockroaches, and ants, to be specific. Why is this relevant to winter pest control?
Arthropods are exothermic insects—this means they rely on external heat sources to warm their body. Unlike other insects and pests that generate their own heat, arthropods run a much higher risk of death when exposed to colder temps.
The average home, however, is usually plenty warm for them to survive and thrive throughout the winter months. Since bugs are very good at communication over long distances, you can rest assured when one finds your home, others are coming. Once a roach or a spider finds a safe shelter with warmth, they emit a chemical scent to notify others. This scent can be picked up by other insects quite a distance away—and that is where the problem lies.
Where In Your Home Do Bugs Hide?
Many of these bugs that have taken shelter in your home won’t hide in common areas where there’s a lot of human activity. They want to avoid you ten times as much as you want to avoid them. What they’re looking for are dark places that are warm enough to survive the colder months.
Often the perfect spots for them are in closets, pantries—especially dirty ones with open bags of chips, etc. They also love bathroom cabinets as it’s a convenient water source as well. These places are not only chosen for comfort but nutritional needs as well.
If we had to name the number one spot it would be a tie between bathroom sink cabinets, and pantries. It’s all about water and food, so keep your faucets off, the bathroom dry, and make sure food in the pantry is sealed up good.
How To Prevent Bugs From Getting In Your Home During Winter
Bugs are always going to be an issue when it’s cold outside. Think about it, they are going into fight or flight mode to survive. They are going to do everything they can to get inside your home for shelter, but you can mitigate the chance of it happening.
The number one tip is an obvious one, but still needs to be said—KEEP YOUR HOME CLEAN.
Bugs love messy homes because it gives them places to hide and food to eat. Clothes piles, overflowing trash cans, open crackers, chips, and other snacks. If this is your home, you might as well turn the vacancy sign on like you’re a Motel 6 for bugs. Bugs will take every edge you give them and they will take over any space if not dealt with—ever seen Starship Troopers?
So, pick up clothes, do laundry regularly, use airtight food containers and seal up food packaging. Keeping the perimeter of your home clean is also important, clear away weeds, and keep shrubs trimmed. Trash cans need to be cleaned once a month and disinfected. Don’t leave trash or debris around your home. Leaves need to be raked, and disposed of, or put in compost piles. Bugs can use debris, garbage cans, and others to use as a staging area to ultimately enter your home.
One of the best methods of prevention along with the above advice is to have your home serviced by Champions Pest Control. The old saying rings true, that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That rings true in dealing with pests as well. It’s a lot more complex to rid a home of a full-blown infestation than it is to prevent it. Not to mention, it’s far more costly to rid your home of an infestation. So, getting pest control in the winter is part of a successful pest control maintenance plan.
Why Champions Recommends Pest Control In The Winter
Scheduling pest control in the winter and year-round even, will give your family peace of mind and make your home unwelcoming to pests. The less you see of bugs, the happier you will be and your home will be healthier. Bugs such as cockroaches and ticks carry tons of diseases and ticks, in particular, carry Lyme disease. Lyme disease hits like a semi-truck causing fatigue, muscle pain, mental fatigue, and can last over 6 months.
You’d be surprised at how many calls we get during the winter for spiders and cockroach infestations. If you’ve never experienced a spider infestation—consider yourself lucky. Not only is the visual of a thousand plus baby spiders scurrying around your attic scary—not knowing where they went is mental torture. It is best to just be proactive with pest control treatments so that bugs never have a gap in your defenses to exploit.
If you have any questions or would like to sign up for our preventative pest control service contact us today!