We’ve welcomed the winter weather and (generally) said goodbye to the pesky flies but unfortunately, we aren’t afforded such luck with other common household pests. Winter is prime time for a few unwanted creepy-crawly critters looking to seek refuge in any warm nooks your home has on offer like piping, walls, windows and cupboards. Here at Austates, we wanted to run you through the most common seasonal pests and how you can manage your pest control throughout winter:
Rats and Mice:
Much like you and your family, rodents like rats and mice are on the lookout for a space that will keep them warm and fed. They can be easier to spot than other typical household pests due to their bigger size and their louder scurrying sounds. The most common place to find them will be in your walls and ceiling cavities and any other warm/dry place they can find to make a nest. It’s likely that you may never see the nest, but rather hear them rummaging throughout the night or potentially worse, see the damage they’re causing (scratch marks, urine stains, droppings) before you spot one.
Common issues they cause in terms of damages will range in severity, some key areas to be mindful of include: packaged dry goods in the pantry, office cupboards with paper or cardboard, bathroom cabinets, essentially anything that they can begin to gnaw on as their objective is to keep their ever-growing teeth shortened (gross, we agree). Even worse will be if an infestation was to occur and they begin to chew timber furniture, cladding or electrical wire. This really needs to be controlled, as chewed wiring can cause a house fire.
These guys are destructive and don’t take a seasonal break. White ants (aka termites) as you may know, love timber and will gain access through foundations and structural walls; you will often not be able to see signs of termite activity in and around the home. They can go undetected, so you’ll likely need to call in the experts for a deep inspection but the more obvious telltale signs include:
- Mud shelter tubes
- Hollow sounding timber
- Sagging floors or doors
- Easily damaged skirting boards or architraves
- Cracking paint or plaster
- Power failures
You might have noticed that there was a cockroach crisis over the Queensland summer season, and sadly they won’t dissipate during the winter months either as this is their breeding season. If you’ve had a cockroach problem before you’d know how persistent these guys can be as pests, they breed very quickly and can survive for up to a week without their head attached to their body – so if you think you have a problem, it’s definitely recommended to get pest control in!
Best practice for managing these pests in the winter:
- At a minimum, maintaining cleanliness within your home will deter pests as they love a dirty environment. Food scraps and crumbs on the bench or floor will need to be wiped/vacuumed every day to eliminate their food sources.
- If possible, don’t keep clusters of blankets or clothes on the floor as they make for warm, safe havens for pests to nestle into.
- Keep an eye out for visible entry points that you could seal up with your doors, windows and tracks for any gaping holes as they will be obvious entry points for these unwanted housemates.