Once the weather gets cold for the winter, there are certain pests that find their way into your house because they are looking for warmth and food, both of which are in slim supply outside. These annoyances can do damage to the interior of your home, not to mention create an environment that is less than healthy. Some of these pests can bite, cause infections, and even worse. 

You need to be prepared by knowing something about them and by recognizing signs these pests are inside. At Stomp Pest Control, we are experienced with exterminating your home to rid it of winter pests. Give us a call to help. Read further to find out what the five most prevalent pests in the winter are in the Raleigh/Durham area.

1. Mice

Mice are one of the most common pests making their way into your home in the winter. They live in dark and secluded places like the basement or attic. They have such small skeletal systems that they can get through the tiniest spaces and can live in between walls. Mice can cause a lot of damage by chewing through walls, gnawing on furniture, and chewing electrical wires. 25% of house fires are caused by the mice gnawing on electrical wirings and appliances.

As for health hazards, mice are full of bacteria. Their wastes bring diseases to human beings such as Salmonellosis, Diarrhea, and Amoebiasis. Their bites can lead to rat-bite fever which is lethal to humans, especially to children.

Here are some of the signs that you have a mice or rat infestation.

Droppings

If you see small droppings that are less than ¼ inch and are pointed on both ends, these are from a mouse. A rat or a parent mouse leaves larger droppings that are blunt at both ends. If you see droppings of different sizes, then you have both kinds of rodents. New droppings are like putty, whereas an old dropping is dried, hard, and crumbly. When you see a lot of droppings in an area, you can be assured that there is a fairly large population of rodents inside your house.

Gnawed Holes

Mice create holes in walls, under cabinets, and in compartments. The holes they create are precise and clear-cut, roughly the shape and size of a dime.Their bodies have very few bones, so they are squishy and can get through extremely small openings. Most of the time the holes will be hidden, so you have to look for them.

Noises

When your house is quiet at night, you will hear mice scampering, gnawing, and chewing from the ceiling, the attic, the basement, or inside walls. You should check all places and then start appropriate measures to exterminate them.

2. Cockroaches

The second most prevalent winter pest is the cockroach. The German cockroach is especially common inside during the winter months. They like to live in small, dark areas that are close to food and dirty clothes. In addition to being attracted to food crumbs, they also like food stains and sweat on clothes. They will actually eat through sweat and stains on clothes, leaving a trail of torn and loose fabric. 

The German cockroach likes being in a moist environment with water. This is why you see them most frequently in the kitchen and bathroom. They travel into your home through grocery bags and boxes. Cockroaches spread millions of bacteria in your home. And, they can make allergies and symptoms of asthma worse.

Here are some signs that you have a cockroach problem:

Droppings

Cockroaches have droppings also, but they are much smaller than those of mice. Their droppings are small, black, and round and are scattered on the floor, at the bottom of cabinets, and compartments such as drawers.

Unusual Smell

Yes, that’s right, when you have a cockroach infestation, you can get an unpleasant odor on items the roach has been in contact with.

Shed Skin

Cockroaches shed their skins anywhere from 5 to 8 times before reaching maturity. So, if you see multiple shedding in your house, you probably have a cockroach infestation.

3. Ants

Though we commonly think of ants in our home during the summer, they also are common in the winter. We especially find them as the temperature is changing from fall to winter. They aren’t dangerous, just extremely annoying. They can get into your food items like flour, sugar, cornmeal, and anything else containing sugar such as cereal.

4. Ticks and Fleas

Winter finds ticks and fleas making their way inside via your dogs, cats, and humans. Ticks and fleas are looking for warmth and shelter, so regularly check the coats of your dogs and cats for signs of infestations. If you or members of your family spend time outside with horses or in the woods, always check them for ticks. These pests can pose health concerns with pets and humans such as skin infections and inflammation from fleas and Lyme disease from ticks.

5. Brown Recluse Spider

We especially wanted to include the Brown Recluse spider in our list of prevalent winter pests because of the harm they can do to humans. Next to the Black Widow spider, the Brown Recluse is the most harmful in the U.S. They make their webs in dark, empty spaces like closets, attics, crawl spaces, and basements. You can find them in shoeboxes, cardboard boxes, and compartments that aren’t used much.

Brown Recluse spiders inject a lethal venom into the skin when they bite. Symptoms of a bite include swelling, chills, fever, joint pain, faintness, seizures, and coma. If not treated soon, the consequences can be serious. 10% of bites can cause ulcers, blisters, and loss of skin. If you suspect that you have been bitten by a Brown Recluse, seek medical attention immediately.

Call Us to Exterminate Winter Pests

If you see signs of any of these five prevalent winter pests in your home, call Stomp Pest Control. We have the tools and experience to get rid of them whether you have a few or a full-blown infestation. Don’t try to handle it yourself. Call the experts! To learn more, reach out to us today at (919) 231-3292 or fill out the form below.