In our Houston service area and around Katy Texas, winter is relatively mild compared to most of the United States, but it is still cold enough to make insects go into hiding. This is called overwintering, and overwintering can lead to winter pest damage and an increase in spring pest activity. Let's take a look at how it works.
How Overwintering Bugs Get In
Insects are cold-blooded creatures. Because of this, they have to get their warmth from the air and surfaces around them. In the fall, when temperatures are dropping, many kinds of insects will gather on the sunny side of buildings in order to raise their body temperature. If they gather on the side of your home, and then the sun goes down, they will naturally look for places to tuck themselves into, which may be gaps or cracks in your home. And, often, those gaps and cracks lead right into your wall voids or attic area, where they are happy to hang out until temperatures warm up again.
What Bugs Do Once They Are Inside
Once pests are inside wall voids and other spaces, some pests will find their way into living spaces where they can do damage to items and belongings. Some pests leave stains on rugs or curtains. Some pests chew everything in sight. Some pests put off a noxious odor. And then there are the ones that eat holes in clothing or build nests inside insulation. The list goes on and on. The moral of the story is bugs inside the house cause damage.
Holes And Bugs Means More Holes And More Bugs
If the holes in your home are not sealed up properly, they have the potential to get bigger and bigger, especially if the wood on your home is moist or rotting. A small insect may squeeze into a hole. Then perhaps a carpenter ant comes along and chews the hole a little bigger. Then a mouse chews. Then a rat chews. The more pests that come to chew, the larger the whole becomes and the more bugs you have entering your wall voids. And, since bugs eat other bugs, those bugs in your walls are going to be an attractant that will inspire more infestations to occur. It's a losing proposition.
When Spring Comes
For the insects that stay in your wall voids all winter long, once temperatures warm up, they will begin to look for a way back outside. But, what often happens is they find their way into living spaces instead. So the more bugs overwintering in your walls, the more bugs you will see inside your home in spring. Some of these pests may simply be a nuisance. Others can cause bigger problems. If you have a female wasp in a wall void and she emerges and builds her nest right on your home, you will soon find yourself faced with multiplying wasps around your home.
Things You Can Do To Discourage Overwintering Pests
If you would rather not be dealing with increasing pests in your home year after year, there are a few steps you can take to make this less likely.
Take a walk around your property and remove clutter and items that collect water. Clutter gives insects and animals places to hide and move in close to your foundation and walls. And anything that collects water is a water source for pests, as well as a breeding ground for some insects, such as mosquitoes.
Trim back vegetation from your foundation and walls. This not only eliminates hiding places, but it also allows to drying out to happen, which will decrease the chances of moist areas and wood rot.
Examine the outside of your home for gaps, cracks or holes and seal up all the holes you find, using caulk or some other sealing material.
One Step That Will Protect Your Home
If you are serious about protecting your home from pests, consider having a pest control company visit and provide a treatment that will create a barrier around your home to keep pests away. Modern Pest Control offers home pest control for pests for all four seasons. Call us today if you have questions or would like to set up service.