Common Pests You Should Look Out for This Winter

As the winter months and the holiday season approach, you may be entertaining more guests than planned. Your warm and cozy home can quickly become the perfect hideaway for pests to come in and cause destruction.

Despite there being less activity in winter, there are still many potential pests. These range from the dreaded rat to winter insects like moths, bed bugs, and fleas. Make sure that one of your New Year’s resolutions includes handling winter pests the right way! We’re here to tell you how.

Rodents and Other Mammals

Scavenging mammals like raccoons, rats, mice, bats, and squirrels are all common in the winter. The warmth and security offered by your home are especially attractive to rats and mice, as is the steady supply of food scraps!

They will most likely take up residence in any holes in your walls, in crawl spaces, or behind appliances and furniture.

How To Spot Them

A raccoon tipping over your trash or a bat dangling from your chandelier is quite obvious. But rodents may be sneakier.

Before you catch them in action, you’ll be able to identify their presence if you come across their droppings or small bite marks/holes in your furniture.

Rats and mice will chew through your furniture to build their nests.

Because they’re also nocturnal, you may hear scurrying and scratching in the walls and ceilings. Treat these signs seriously, because rodents breed quickly.

How To Get Rid of Them

Because these animals can slip through very small cracks, remove as many entry points to your home as possible. Replace any missing roof tiles and fill in any cracks with roofing cement. Ensure your air vents are also covered with wire mesh and cover your chimney with a chimney cap.

It’s also crucial for you to remove easy access to food scraps. Seal your food in plastic or glass containers and store all food appropriately. Make sure to take the trash out regularly, keep your dishes washed, and vacuum your floors. 

Squirrels will be deterred from entering if you store firewood at least 20 ft. (6 m) from your house and keep any shrubbery well trimmed.

To prevent bats from coming in, keep your doors and windows closed for most of the day.

Insects and Other Bugs

There is almost nothing that is more dreaded than winter bugs, like fleas, termites, cockroaches, spiders, and bed bugs. They’ll enter discreetly and can cause obvious damage to your home.

Cockroaches come in search of food scraps, fleas come on the backs of your pets, and bed bugs will crawl out of suitcases, clothes, and bedding.

Termites, while more active during the summer, will continue to work away in the colder months, thriving on any excess moisture in your home.

How To Spot Them

Unless you catch a spider weaving a web in that pesky corner of your bathroom, you may not notice that your home is playing host to pest insects.

Some classic signs of bed bugs are spots of blood on your sheets.

Termites won’t only chew through wood, but will leave piles of droppings where they work.

Cockroaches are hardy in the winter and might scuttle around the damp corners of your kitchen or bathroom.

Pay close attention to your pets. If they’re constantly itching, you may have a flea problem on your hands.

How To Get Rid of Them

Like their mammal counterparts, these insects will draw near to any sources of food and water. Make sure to get rid of any excess moisture by regularly checking pipes for leaks. Seal up pipe entry points and clean out your gutters. Water leaks, piles of soil, and any firewood you might bring inside will attract termites. Maintain a clean kitchen, seal food in quality containers, wash your dishes, and vacuum frequently.

To prevent fleas from coming into your home, treat your pets with flea repellent, either in medicine or shampoo format. Bathe your pets regularly and wash their bedding. Avoid leaving your pets outside overnight as this just gives fleas more time to attach themselves.

Bed bugs may become stowaways during your travels. So, clean out your suitcases thoroughly. Wash and dry your bedding and clothing at high temperatures. 

Soiled clothing, furniture, and wool products attract moths. They’ll hide in your drawers and wardrobe. Some easy ways to stop them are to buy mothballs and to maintain good hygiene.

A Special Note About Spiders

One or two spiders won’t damage your house. In fact, they may actually help control the population of smaller pests. They tend to make their webs in the small nooks and crannies of your house and in less commonly used areas.

One surefire way to keep the spider number down is to turn off unnecessary lighting. A spider’s favorite food is a flying insect and bright lights attract these insects.

While most spiders are harmless, venomous spiders, like the black widow or the brown recluse, can be dangerous to humans.

You can reduce the risk of coming across one of these spiders by removing any tree limbs that touch your home since these provide easy access for spiders.

To be extra safe, store clothing and shoes in plastic containers and check inside your shoes before putting them on. If a brown recluse or black widow spider bites you, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately.


Simple actions like maintaining a clean house and storing your belongings well can dramatically reduce your risk of having unwanted pests in your home this winter. Not only will you reduce the risk of damage to your home, but you’ll also protect your health since creatures like rats, cockroaches, and raccoons can carry disease.

A little bit of effort can go a long way. If it doesn’t, be sure to call your local pest control center.

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