St Louis Pest Control Blog

Preventing Common Winter Pests

Winter in the St. Louis area can be a hard time for insects and other pests. They prefer the warmth and shelter of your home to that of the outside cold. The best way to provide your home with winter pest control is to prevent insects, rodents and other pests from entering.

Many of the insects you may be familiar with outside the home either die with the first frost, go dormant, migrate south, or seek shelter. Pests such as cockroaches and ants are insects that look for warmth, food and protection inside your home. Here are some easy steps you can take to keep them out.

Preventing insects

The best defense against insect pests is to seal them out. First, you need to identify all cracks, gaps and holes in your house.

Start outside your house. Rotted wood, damaged siding or crumbling masonry should be repaired. Apply caulk anywhere you see a gap around a window frame or where cables or wires enter the home. Vents and chimney openings should be covered with a mesh screen.

Next, inspect your doors. Check the bottom of the doorway. If there is not a steel or aluminum threshold plate, add one. Make sure there is a door sweep in place at the bottom of the door to cover the gap between the threshold piece and the bottom of the door. Nylon brush sweeps are the most effective for insect control. Check around the door to ensure there is weather-stripping. Caulk around the door frame if you see any gaps where insects can enter.

Even a home which has been properly sealed attract some insects. Discourage them by ridding the home of food sources that are inviting to them. All open boxes and bags of food should be stored in sealed containers. After meals, dispose of food scraps and wrappers immediately. Do not let trash pile up. Keep garbage in containers that have tight-fitting lids, and remove it from the house as soon as possible. Trash containers should be regularly scrubbed and sanitized.

Preventing rodents

Many of the same methods used to discourage insects apply to rodents, but there are some additional preventative measures you should take to keep them out.

Outside the house, keep all yard waste such as compost and leaves far away from the dwelling. Dispose of it as soon as possible. Leaves and small sticks are commonly used nesting materials. Remember to clean your gutters of any debris, also.

Check for any gaps or cracks in the eaves of the house near the roof. Quickly repair any that you find. Squirrels and mice can enter through these spaces and take up residence in your attic.

Discourage squirrels and mice from visiting your home and yard areas, and discourage them from taking up residence . Replace plastic or wooden bird feeders with sealed metal seed dispensers. Rodents can easily gnaw through softer materials.

Inside the house, eliminate piles of clothing, old newspapers and any other clutter. Mice and rats use these materials to build nests, and love to hide in messy rooms.

If you have taken these preventative steps and still have a winter pest problem, call Blue Chip Pest Control today. We are one of the largest family owned pest control companies in the state and have been providing winter pest control in the St. Louis area since 1959.

Warm Homes Inviting To Winter Pests

As the falling leaves of autumn give way to blustery winter, some residents see the change of season reflected in the type of pest intent on sharing the warm comfort of their homes.

Winter Pests

Mice are driven indoors when the fields they inhabit are cut down during harvest. Farmers might notice an increase because they’re out in the fields and forcing rodents in. In the city, they’re just looking for a warm place. Mice pose a considerable health risk and can transmit disease. Mice and rats also chew up woodwork and can start electrical fires by chewing up wires.

Ladybugs and spiders migrate from outside to the warm basements, nooks and crannies of homes. Spiders, slugs, and root weevils are notorious for hitching a ride on plants. As the plants warm up the critters become active and will often move off the plants. These house guests pose no threat whatsoever unless the spiders happen to be one of the few poisonous species.

Exterminators also expect calls about ants, particularly from people who live in homes built on slabs laid over sand.

By mid-winter, pantry pests can make themselves known. Tiny moths or beetles can infest birdseed, dog food and grain sources. People may notice tiny moths flying near the pantry, little larvae in the food sources or webbing.

Fleas are also common winter pests. Fleas are present on dogs and cats during the winter. These fleas will continue to lay eggs which will develop in your home to infest your pets during the warmer months. It might come as a surprise to some pet owners that more cats have fleas than dogs. Grooming techniques such as coat licking are the cat’s subtle way of scratching for fleas.

Prevention

Homeowners can take steps to prevent pests from entering:

* Seal cracks around the home. In particular, openings into a crawl space or under a deck could become home to an animal that dies or an animal that has babies.

* Consider any unscreened vents as possible critter hideouts. Put a mesh screen over vents.

* Keep wood piles away from the home and up off the ground. Beware that dead or dying trees can be favorites for carpenter ants that like to dig through wood.

* As the cooler months approach, it is important to remember that the winter period is a prime incubation period for fleas. A single monthly treatment with Frontline will kill fleas fast and continue killing fleas for at least a month.

* Don’t leave out excess food in pet bowls.

* Before you bring trees and plants inside be sure to check them for any insects crawling on them. Ticks are normally brought in on trees and plants.

Hiring Rodent Control Experts

If their pest problem becomes too large, homeowners can hire pest control experts to handle the problem.

Pest control experts like Blue Chip Pest Services will provide a free inspection and any treatment charges are based upon what pests are found.

Ask our experts!

Fill out your name & email address and one of our experts will reply to you as soon as possible.

[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"] ×