pest-icon

Winter Pests and How to Prepare for Them

3-5 Minutes to Read

Termites

Temperatures are dropping quickly around Oklahoma and, before we know it, it will once again be wintertime. While this may lead some pests to finally go into hibernation, many other winter pests will take a different approach. Unfortunately, this could mean that unwanted pests are making their final push inside of your home for warmth, food or shelter to sustain them throughout the upcoming cold season. Even worse, the range of pests you could be experiencing may represent a much larger group than you thought.

Many homeowners think that when winter finally hits, their pest problems will be gone until the spring. While this may hold some truth outdoors, winter pest control services are critical for ensuring that no infestation occurs inside of the home where optimal living conditions are still being achieved. Since we too like to live in comfort, the same amenities we are using to enjoy the break from cold temperatures outside could be sustaining hidden pests as well.

Although it is important to remain vigilant in your approach to winter pest control, there are a few key pests that you should be mindful of throughout these seasons. Mosquitoes will likely be long gone after the first freeze finally hits, but many other pests like rodents and cockroaches are still thriving in environments that are accommodating to their basic needs and provide adequate safety from predators or humans that might harm them. A home will often have several secluded locations and could be home to a variety of pests at any given time without the homeowner even realizing it until populations are too large to sustain small hiding areas.

Winter pests are incredibly sneaky and will often gain entry indoors through the smallest cracks. Once indoors, they tend to live within wall voids, behind appliances that provide warmth or near water sources that are sustainable. If a homeowner is not paying attention, a small group of these pests can quickly become a much larger problem and lead to a full infestation. While it may be easy to overlook pests initially, continued growth in their numbers can be an alarming experience for some. For this reason, winter pest control services are likely the best approach to take – even when visible pests are not found.

Winter Pest Identification

The National Pest Management Association often encourages homeowners to take precautions against a variety of common winter pests that may be trying to get inside of homes. To help simplify some of the pests you should be looking for, we have compiled a list of the most common offenders below. If one of these pests is found inside of your home, do not hesitate to call the experts at Emtec Pest Control for winter pest control services that can make a positive impact.

House mouse standing on rear feet (Mus musculus)

House Mice

Known as one of the most encountered rodents in the United States, house mice tend to be found in secluded, dark areas of homes during the winter. This means that nests will often be found in basements or attics, although they may nest and travel inside of wall voids as well. For this reason, house mice can cause large amounts of damage to drywall and electrical wiring – which may lead to increased chances of an electrical fire.

One other danger associated with house mice is that they can contaminate food and spreading diseases including tapeworms or Salmonella. To stay safe and eliminate potential house mice populations quickly, homeowners should regularly inspect the home for droppings, damaged food containers in the pantry or gnaw marks. House mice also tend to hide in clutter, so any boxes or piles of items should be stored properly to eliminate potential hiding spots.

Close up blattella germanica german cockroach isolated on white

German Cockroaches

Considered one of the most invasive cockroach species in the world, German cockroaches have adapted to the conditions found within a human home, making it the perfect habitat for them to obtain food and moisture. Although capable of finding their way indoors on their own, German cockroaches tend to “hitchhike” on bags, boxes and secondhand furniture or appliances. Once inside, their need for close water and food sources will tend to keep them in bathrooms or kitchens.

Like other cockroach species, the sight of a single German cockroach could signify that many more are nearby or that the nest has overcrowded. Like house mice, German cockroaches can contaminate food or spreading bacteria and human pathogens. Cockroach species can often also trigger allergies or make asthma symptoms worse for homeowners, particularly in children. If a single cockroach is found, this should be enough to warrant an inspection from a pest control provider.

termite.v1

Termites

While most homeowners associate termite damage with warmer months or swarming periods, they may be surprised to learn that termite workers continue working year-round to find new food sources and bring them back to the colony. Although frigid temperatures may mean that some activity slows and the existing colony will move deeper into the soil, the warmth radiated into the walls of a home is typically enough to sustain average working time for termites. This means that your walls could be suffering year-round without intervention or proper termite treatments.

The average termite colony contains hundreds of thousands of individual termites that are all looking for new ways to damage your property or other wood sources that may be nearby. At Emtec Pest Control, we have over 39 years of proven experience getting rid of termites from Oklahoma homes and businesses. Our experts will evaluate your home or business and recommend the best possible treatment options to completely eradicate all termites that may be present – including the queen.

two ants playing

Ants

As a nuisance pest, ants are most often associated with their ability to quickly ruin a picnic during the spring and summer; however, as a cold-blooded insect, ants require warmth to stay alive throughout the winter. To achieve this warmth, many ants will seek out shelter indoors and create nests inside of wall cavities and many homeowners may not even realize they are there until they begin foraging for food. Since Oklahoma has a large population of various ant species, there are many different characteristics and types of ant that could be lurking inside of a home during the winter.

Whether you're just seeing the occasional lone ant in the kitchen, or if they have mounted a full-scale invasion on your home, our technicians at Emtec Pest Control are prepared to use deadly force to rid your home of these annoying scavengers. No matter what type of ants you are finding inside of your home, our winter pest control services can help target and eliminate them. Our team can even help ensure your home has an invisible barrier that makes sure ants do not become welcome guests.

Struggling to Keep Up with Winter Pests?

Give us a call! One of our certified technicians can identify your pest problems and provide a free estimate. You do not have to share the warmth of your home with unwanted pests during the upcoming holiday season when you partner with Emtec Pest Control!

Winter Pest Prevention

To remain safe, here are some TIPS that homeowners should keep in mind throughout the fall and winter seasons:

  • 1

    Stay Vigilant

    Dealing with insects and other pests is often a continual problem for homeowners in Oklahoma. For this reason, it is important to stay vigilant in your efforts to monitor for the presence of pests and continue to make your home less accommodating for them. Take the time to search your home for any cracks or crevices that have formed due to foundational shifts and correct them or clean up junk or unnecessary piles of items to limit hiding spaces that pests may take advantage of.

  • 2

    Work with a Professional

    The best way to fulfill winter pest control needs is by working with a licensed and professional pest control company for preventative services or the emergency removal of pests. No two homeowners have the same needs or pest issues. So, working with a professional ensures that a customized approach is taken that targets the exact pests and problems that are occurring within the home. Do not settle for ineffective home treatments when you can address the problem correctly the first time!

  • 3

    Store Firewood Properly

    If your home commonly takes advantage of a fireplace, there is a good chance that you have a stockpile of the wood outside that is meant to last throughout the season. Unfortunately, these woodpiles can harbor a variety of pests and might even potentially draw new ones in because it is such a beneficial habitat. Storing firewood away from your home’s foundation and inspecting wood before it is brought indoors can help limit travelers gaining access or hitchhikers getting a free ride into the warmth of a home.

  • 4

    Change Your Habits

    Whether you leave dirty dishes in the sink for extended periods or just do not vacuum as much as you should, there are many habits that homeowners have could exacerbate pest problems or draw new pests in. Taking the time to keep your home sanity, safely store foods and eliminate water leaks are among the top priorities when attempting to keep a home pest-free. Look at the habits you have that could be contributing to ongoing pest problems and address them head-on for the best results.

When to Call a Professional

Emtec staff taking calls in the office

If you have taken precautions to keep winter pests from invading your home but you are still seeing them indoors, it is time to call a pest control professional. No matter what pests you are finding, the team at Emtec Pest Control is here to help with proven and guaranteed winter pest control services.

At Emtec Pest Control, we are committed to safe and responsible pest control. We understand that your family’s safety is your number one priority, so we make it our priority, too. If you have any other questions about any of these pests or pest control for your home or business, contact your Oklahoma pest control experts at Emtec Pest Control by calling us or by filling out our online contact form.

Our service areas in Northeast Oklahoma include Bixby, Broken Arrow, Catoosa, Owasso, Jenks, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Skiatook, Stillwater, Tulsa and the surrounding areas. In Central Oklahoma, we service Edmond, Moore, Oklahoma City, Yukon and the surrounding areas. You can also connect with us on social media for more helpful pest control tips and information.