Top 8 Common Winter Pests in North Carolina
Winter is an unfortunate time to have pests. During the season, it is difficult to exterminate unwanted insects from our home. For this reason, prevention is important. During the summertime, insects have plenty of food, potential shelter, and warmth. They do not need to infest homes unless they are attracted by the homeowner.
But when the winter season comes, they start looking for stable shelters where they can outlive the cold. They start to look for potential food sources in houses, commercial buildings, restaurants, bars, and other establishments.
Most common winter pests
To understand how you pest prevention during winter, here are the most common winter pests.
These are the most common rodents that infest homes in the United States. Typically, they nest in dark and secluded areas like the attic and the basement. Sometimes, they create holes so they can live between walls. Some even report mice living in the ceiling. Did you know that mice can cause around five million dollars of damage each year in the United States alone? 25% of house fires are caused by the gnawing of mice on electrical wirings and appliances. According to experts, mice are notorious bacteria hoarders. Their wastes bring diseases to human beings such as Salmonellosis, Diarrhea, and Amoebiasis. Their bite can lead to the rat-bite fever which is lethal to humans, especially to children.
Listed below are the common signs of mice infestation at home:
Droppings. This is a sure sign that rats are mice have infested your home. This also indicates the type of rodent, the size of the infestation, and their activity site. Mice droppings are very small – about less than 1/4 inch and are pointed on both ends. A rat dropping is blunt at both ends. New droppings are putty, unlike the old and dried droppings which are hard and crumbly. The differences in droppings size indicate that there may be adults and young rodents lurking around. If you see a lot of droppings in an area, it indicates that there’s a large population of mice inside your house.
Musky odor brought by the urine of mice. If the smell is strong, it indicates that you might be facing a large infestation.
Gnawed Holes. Mice create holes which are precise and clear-cut, about the shape and size of a dime. Gnawed rat holes are much bigger, about the size of the quarter with rough edges. You might want to check at the back or under the cabinets or compartments. They like to hide their holes from humans to avoid any disturbance. They do not want anybody causing any blockage to their passageway.
The most obvious signs of mice infestations are rub marks and gnaw-marks. These are indications of their current activities and whereabouts. Check any marks on wooden furniture and walls. This is a good indication of mice infestation. You better do something immediately before the gnaws and rubs becomes full-blown holes.
Noises. If you can’t sleep at night because of the incessant gnawing and chewing, you have rodents to blame. Usually, the noises come from the ceiling, the attic, the basement, or inside the walls. Have them all checked and apply the necessary measures for extermination.
The second most common winter pest is the cockroach, particularly the German cockroach. These species prefer to live in small, dark areas close to food and dirty garments.
Not only are they attracted to food crumbs, but they are also attracted to food stains and sweat on clothes. Cockroaches eat through the sweat and stains of clothes. They leave a trail on clothes, tearing it and loosening its fabric. For this reason, it is recommended to keep your dirty clothes in the hamper.
German Cockroaches are hydrophilic – they love moist and water. This makes our kitchen and bathroom the ideal habitat for them. These creatures hitchhike indoors through grocery bags, boxes, and second-hand appliances.
According to scientists, cockroaches spread millions of bacteria at home. They are also known to trigger allergies and worsen symptoms of asthma. Here are signs of cockroach infestation at home:
- Unusual Smell. A cockroach infestation causes a lingering and unpleasant odor that taints any item they get in contact with.
- Droppings. The droppings of cockroaches are much smaller than mice. Their droppings are small, black, round particles scattered on the floor, at the base of cabinets, and compartments.
- Smear Marks. Cockroaches leave smear marks where there is an abundance of water. Look for irregularly-shaped marks on surfaces and junctions where cockroaches can be found.
- Shed skin. Cockroaches shed their skins 5 to 8 times before they reach maturity. If you see multiple shedding in your area, it’s a sign of a cockroach infestation.
3. Brown Recluse Spider
This is the second most harmful spider in the United States next to the Black Widow Spider. Brown Recluse Spiders build their webs in dark and unused spaces such as empty closets, attics, crawl spaces, and basements. They can also be found in shoeboxes, cardboard boxes, and in seldom-used compartments.
When Brown Recluse Spiders bite human beings, they inject lethal venom to the skin. The symptoms of the bite include swelling, chills, fever, joint pain, faintness, seizures, and coma. If you suspect that you had been bitten by the spider, see your doctor immediately. For most adults, bites from the Brown Recluse Spiders can be treated at home with good results. However, about 10% of these cases cause ulcers and blisters that can damage the skin to a great level.
If the symptoms are mild, here are some home treatment remedies:
- Clean the bite with soap and water.
- Apply antibiotics.
- If you were bitten on your leg or arm keep it raised while resting.
- Put ice on the site.
- Take over-the-counter painkillers if necessary.
- Watch for severe symptoms. If they persist, consult your doctor immediately.
These creatures are common in woody parts of the US. Raccoons pass through chimneys and attics in search of warmth. They are reported in the country as a major host of rabies. So, you need to watch out. Here are signs of a raccoon infestation.
- A strong smell of feces or urine. Long-established dens accumulate waste. Make sure to do the necessary interventions to get rid of the waste. Remember not to get in contact with the raccoon waste. It could cause various diseases, especially among children.
- Damage to specific areas of your home such as shutters, shingles, and vents. The number one hotspot for raccoons is the chimney. These rodents have the ability to climb up roofs and dislodge chimney caps. Make sure to fasten your lids. Or it could become a perfect site for brooding among pregnant raccoon mothers.
- Listen for unexpected noises from your ceilings and walls. Just like mice, raccoons are very active at night. They scratch, whimper, and chatter at night. If you hear such noises, it’s best to call for a local exterminator in Huntersville.
- Branches and Bushes abutting your home. Raccoons are very good climbers. They reach your chimney by climbing on tree branches and jumping over bushes.
Ants are the best example of winter pests. The infestation of ants in houses is a good sign that winter is coming. Although they do not pose a danger to the family, having a full-blown ant infestation could create a nuisance at home.
6. Ticks and Fleas
Like most pets, these insects cannot survive the cold weather. These creatures can latch on to humans and animals to look for potential shelter. To watch out for these pests, regularly check the coats of your dogs and cats for any signs of flea and tick infestation. If they keep scratching their bodies, it is a good indication that their skin is infested. Always take precautionary measures against these pests. Experts reiterate the dangers that fleas and ticks can give. They could cause anemia, especially among small breeds. These pests can also exacerbate skin infections and could cause severe inflammation.
7. Bed Bugs
Be very vigilant in preventing a bed bug infestation while traveling. They can latch onto our clothes, bags, shoes, and luggage. Bed bugs are known as silent predators. Human beings usually have no idea that they are being fed off at night. Experts recommend checking clothing compartments, luggage, and mattresses. Remember to keep your shoes and used clothes away from your room. Or else, the bed bugs will crawl to your bed and feed on you while you sleep.
These creatures infest fabric such as wool, fur, and cotton. They are also known to infest upholstered furniture at home. To prevent any moth infestation, always check your clots regularly for signs of damage. Use mothballs as a preliminary repellent.
Call for a Pest Control Expert
To prevent any winter pest infestation, call for professional help. The best company to call in all of North Carolina is Lake Norman Pest Control. Experience top-quality service at an affordable price. With the help of their highly-trained exterminators, you no longer have to worry about the damages and diseases caused by different kinds of pests. For an ultimate protection plan against pests, call Lake Norman Pest Control – The best pest control service near Mooresville.