Be Prepared, These 4 Pests Love Your Home In Winter!
Winter is coming. And with it, there’s a whole host of pests that may want to take up refuge in your home.
More specifically, you’ll probably have cockroaches, mice and rats slipping indoors without an invitation. You’ll know it because you’ll likely see more roaches, and be able to hear the rodents at night – as well as recognise their droppings.
Your best bet is to be prepared for the pest invasion, but a pest control company can also be your first line of defence in Winter pest control. Here’s what you should know about being prepared and turning away unwanted house guests.
They may be small in size and even cute to some people, but make no mistake – mice can be damaging to your home in the Winter. For example, the common house mouse can be as short as 6cm (not including the tail), and can reproduce in enormous numbers.
A female mouse can produce up to 60 offspring during its relatively short life, which is around a year. They can nest indoors, and will collect anything they might need to build their nest that can lead to structural damage. This means that the mice can chew through wood, as well as tunnelling through insulation and even making a cosy home in upholstered furniture.
However, one of the biggest threats of having mice in the home during the Winter is that they can chew the coatings from electrical wires. In the process, you might lose power to your appliances. Worst case scenario that the damage to the wires becomes a fire hazard.
Rats are bigger than mice, and potentially a bigger problem during the Winter.
In Australia, one of the most common species of rat that could wander into a home or business is the Norway rat. They can be up to 40cm in length, and that doesn’t include their tails.
While the females live about as long as mouse females, they can produce even more offspring. In fact, research has shown that a single pair of rats can result in half a billion rats in a few years if the problem isn’t dealt with quickly.
Meanwhile, you may also have to deal with roof rats during the Winter. While only about half the body size of a Norway rat, they’re still a big problem. As the name suggests, you might find (or hear) these rats hanging out in your building’s rafters, where they can do considerable damage.
Adding to this threat is the fact that rats can contaminate food sources, and even transmit diseases. Bacteria from certain rats can cause a variety of illnesses in humans, with symptoms ranging from fevers to rashes.
There’s also the dreaded rat-bite fever, which is very real (and can also be passed along by mice in some instances.) Despite the name, in some cases the bacteria that cause the illness is not from a bite, but rather from contamination of food through faeces. It can have potentially serious complications such as infection of the brain and the heart valves.
There are some ways you can help deter the presence of rats in the home, which also applies to mice. These include getting rid of food scraps as quickly as possible, not leaving food unattended in pet bowls, and removing any clutter that rats and mice can hide in or use for nests.
If you’re also setting up traps but it doesn’t seem to be curbing the problem, then it’s time to call in rodent control.
Just the name of these insects is enough to send shivers down peoples’ spines. However, their numbers can increase dramatically indoors during the colder Winter months, so be prepared.
While you might not notice an infestation during the day, you most likely will at night because cockroaches are nocturnal. You may also be able to smell them as they give off unpleasant secretions.
While there are thousands of species of cockroaches, in Australia you’ll notice a handful of these including the German cockroach and the Australian cockroach, the latter which can reach sizes of almost 4cm.
Like rodents, cockroaches can multiply incredibly fast. In the case of German cockroaches, one female can be responsible for a bloodline of more than 30,000 roaches.
So what’s the problem?
Other than being creepy, cockroaches can also carry potentially dangerous pathogens through food and utensils. One of these includes salmonella, which can lead to an infection that causes cramping and fever in humans. Other suspected health threats from cockroaches include hepatitis A, which carries symptoms that range from fatigue to joint pain.
Short of calling in experts, you can help prevent the spread of cockroaches on your property by eliminating garbage as well as keeping the sink free of dirty dishes. Look for any cracks or crevices in your home’s exterior that could act as a portal for these resilient creatures.
These critters can be found at any time of year, including Winter. Also referred to as white ants, these insects can do a lot of damage in a hurry – including floors, walls, ceilings, and even foundations.
Termites don’t care about how old your home is and are a constant threat to property. Having a qualified inspector catch an infestation early can limit the expense later on. However, an estimate puts the costs of damage from termites to the housing industry at $4 billion annually.
Get Ahead With Winter Pest Control
Taking certain precautions such as cleaning up garbage and getting rid of food waste may help to prevent infestations of common Winter pests. In the case of termites, regular inspections may save a lot of money in repairs down the road.
However, if you have signs of an infestation on your property, it’s time to call in the experts. To learn more about how we can help with Winter pest control, contact us today.
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