Monday, October 19, 2009

Why do I need pest control in the winter?

Pest control in the winter? Isn’t that a waste of money? It’s actually the opposite: winter pest services can be the most valuable visit from your pest control professional all year long. For most pest management firms, winter is the time we focus our inspections and treatments on the inside of our customers’ homes. In fact, we can often identify and address issues that homeowners are completely unaware of, and prevent other pest problems before they start.

Among our biggest concerns are pests that can damage homes. Termites and carpenter ants are at the top of this list, and unfortunately their activity in a home often can’t be seen from outside. A thorough, interior inspection once a year is crucial to identify evidence of these problems, and stop them as soon as possible. If these pests are already inside, winter means nothing, and the damage will continue – it’s always spring in your home!

Other less damaging pests are also a concern during the winter. Spiders and rodents can be a problem inside year round where it’s nice and warm. We use winter as a chance to physically remove spider webs and egg cases and treat those areas where they are most likely to try and reinfest. We also carefully inspect all areas of homes for evidence of rodents. We commonly find mouse activity in basements, crawl spaces, and attics long before homeowners see the signs in more high profile areas.

Another very important pest control measure that takes place in the winter is a full attic treatment. Attics are a great place for all sorts of insects: ladybugs, cluster flies, box elder bugs, carpenter ants, and others. Many bugs will even use attics as a place to escape dropping temperatures in the late fall. They stay dormant until it warms back up, and then make their way into your living areas (remember, it’s always spring in there!). Attics should be treated once a year with dusts that will stop these insects in their tracks before you have to deal with them in your home.

Last but not least, winter is our chance to get your house ready for spring. We identify and seal pest entry points, and use pesticides to create a barrier around your home. In fact, the three things that cause pesticides to break down – light, heat, and moisture – are less of a factor in winter than any other time of year, which means our products will last longer and be right where you need them when it warms back up. Any good, year round pest control program will include a comprehensive winter service performed by a well-trained technician. It is a crucial part of protecting your home, and keeping it pest free all year long.