As winter approaches, homeowners can breathe a sigh of relief that many of the most annoying outdoor pests will soon be hunkering down for the winter. Since the cold temperatures mean less activity, this time of year usually means that insects, rodents and other intrusive critters will most likely be leaving your home alone -- at least until spring.
This doesn’t mean that you can completely let down your guard, however. The fact that the outside has become less hospitable only makes your house seem even more inviting. You are now living in a beacon of warmth which can sometimes attract pests. This means that you can’t let down your guard at all!
But how can you monitor your home and ward off any possible infestations? Here are a few tips:
Just like any other time of year, the main thing you should do is make your home as undesirable as possible. Pick up crumbs, clean your surfaces and don’t give pests any more reasons to come inside than you absolutely have to.
Look for the Tell-Tale Signs
If bugs or rodents do get in your home, you probably won’t see them at first. The colder temperatures outside mean they’ll be less active even indoors, and more likely than not you’ll only have a small number to deal with in the beginning. These smaller numbers will make it harder to spot any invaders. However, an attentive homeowner should still be able to detect signs of these unwanted guests.
Look for the usual indicators of activity: droppings and dirt (or what looks like dirt) in corners and other out-of-the-way places; strange, dirty odors; fabric, paper or other material that looks like it might have been chewed through. All of these can tell you there are other things sharing your space long before you actually see them for the first time.
In some cases -- depending on the intruder -- your ears might give them away first. Rodents like rats, mice and squirrels can frequently be heard scampering around between walls and in attics and crawl-spaces, and larger animals like bats or raccoons are often very easy to hear.
Even certain bugs make noises. Termites, for example, can usually be detected once they are in large enough numbers; if you hear what sounds like chewing or even tapping inside your walls, this could indicate the beginning of a very serious termite problem.
Regardless of the time of year, responsible homeowners are ever vigilant when it comes to stopping infestations. If you suspect activity in your home, or you would like to set up an inspection or consultation, please contact us at Action Pest and Turf today!