December is a time for many things, not the least of which are holidays that reflect in many ways the joys of our national and personal character and morals, but with the advent of colder weather also comes some unwelcome intruders that can. Spoil your holiday and your happy mood.
Clement Moore’s iconic poem about Christmas Eve’ was so quiet that “not a creature stirred, not even a mouse” unfortunately doesn’t translate to situations where other mice aren’t hiding in the shade or under the holiday tree. Table where Chanukah cookies and treats are displayed. Alas, they are with us.
Read on to find out why and how you can prevent these unwanted critters from ruining your holiday fun, or contact Pestco Professional Services today to get rid of these cold weather critters! +1 (412) 252-5200.
December insects to watch for when cold weather hits
When the cold breath of winter hits Pittsburgh, some insects enter hibernation while others see cold temperatures indoors and warmth from food sources.
These include but are not limited to: squirrels; rats rats skunks; pantry pests; Cockroaches; raccoons; Spiders and bedbugs.
More about each pest follows below.
While many good things can come in small packages, especially during the holidays, in the case of bedbugs, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
These tiny, vermin thrive in animal or human blood and enter unsuspecting homes through luggage, clothing, used bedding, and furniture. Experts think they can fit into spaces as narrow as the width of an average credit card.
They cannot survive below freezing temperatures and when they drop, these bugs enter a hibernation-like state and can survive for months without feeding on blood.
There is no way a Pittsburgh homeowner can eliminate these pests with do-it-yourself solutions. Their presence is a clarion call for the help of your local pest-control and pest-maintenance experts.
These pests are found in surprising numbers throughout the United States.
These insects contaminate food sources and are carriers for at least thirty-three types of bacteria, 6 types of parasitic worms, and 7 other types of pathogens and dangerous allergens that are triggers for asthma, especially in vulnerable children.
Once these invaders set foot in a home, it is difficult (if not impossible) to get rid of them without the professional skills of a pest control and pest-management specialist.
German cockroaches are often found in kitchens and bathrooms, and they often find their way into unsuspecting homes through grocery bags and used appliances. (Try to keep this in mind before buying any kind of used equipment.)
The most common rodent in the United States is hands down, the house mouse.
They prefer dark, empty spaces, such as attics and basements, where they can nest undisturbed.
Vectors of fleas, ticks, lice, and disease, these tiny rodents can do a lot of damage to appliances and furniture, and their constant crawling through utility lines and electrical cables is the cause of many fires that are believed to be of “unknown origin.”
An average female mouse can give birth to a litter of up to 6 babies every 3 weeks! A single scene scampering across a floor translates into the need for immediate action
Also known as sewer rats and brown rats, basements and large piles of debris are breeding grounds for these unpleasant rodents that eat and contaminate food. And chew anything that comes in contact with it, including plastic or lead pipes.
Their sharp teeth, which never stop growing, pose a serious fire hazard as they gnaw through wiring, drywall and insulation.
They can barely fit through a crack the size of a quarter and are known to reproduce quickly.
They reach sexual maturity at 3 months of age and a single female; There can be up to 6 litters of up to twelve puppies per year. There are carriers of jaundice, rat-bite fever and cowpox virus.
Pre-packaged foods and grains for storage are prime entry points for pantry pests this time of year. Possible sources of infection include: pet and livestock feed such as: grain and seed for chickens and songbirds.
The most common types of pantry pests are: small bugs; Indian food moths, weevils and ants. They’re especially problematic around Thanksgiving and Christmas, because of their love of rich, carbohydrate-rich holiday foods and treats.
Pantry pests are very problematic to eradicate both because they breed almost continuously and because they tend to live in the food products they thrive on.
Our pest-control and pest-management experts at Pestco Professional Services first focus on finding the source of the infestation, which can be very difficult because they are completely infested wherever they have a foothold.
These small, but very destructive creatures have their rightful place in the balance of all living things in Mother Nature.
They are very intelligent and beneficial to the eco-system, but they damage chimneys and attics for shelter in December and the following winter months. They are not known to hibernate, but they can sleep in their dens for up to a month without coming out into the cold.
Their feces are vectors of roundworm larvae, which are toxic to humans. Do-it-yourself removal methods are not effective when dealing with raccoons and other wildlife species.
We always focus on humane removal from property rather than destruction.
Skunks pose more of a threat to the exterior perimeter of Pittsburgh homes than the interior. They are known to destroy lawns by digging up grass in search of insets to feed their young.
Their favorite nesting sites include: under houses; below decks and porches; inside or under the shed; Wood pile and crawl space under the house.
They pierce metal screens and holes with their razor-sharp claws. Fecal and odor pollution are other related problems with skunks. Skunks are a gentle wildlife species by nature, but they do occasionally carry rabies.
Although home remedies are sometimes successful, it is more practical and cost-effective to contact humane pest-control and pest-maintenance experts, who will employ exclusionary techniques to remove skinks from the property.
The most common species of arachnids known in and around the Pittsburgh area are: cellar spiders (AKA Daddy Long Legs); Brown Recluse Spider; Wolf Spider and House Spider.
A spider infestation is different from all others because more spiders indicate the presence of a larger problem; Namely, something else in the household that is providing a consistent food source for them.
Although over-the-counter sprays will kill them, the most effective way to permanently remove spiders from a residence is to set up a year-round service plan with a trusted company.
Controlling spiders is not an easy task and requires many steps. These include inspection of affected structures, identification of specific species; Prevention, sanitation and mechanical techniques.
When squirrels enter a Pittsburgh residence, they look for attics, ductwork and insulation. They shred anything they find with their razor sharp teeth.
Destruction is their name with a capital “D”. They usually enter by crawling through loose roofs or quietly slipping through chimneys, and once established, build nests and breed.
Similar to Norway rats, they gnaw endlessly through electrical wires, creating a fire hazard. In addition, squirrels are serious carriers of rabies, encephalitis and Powassan virus.
9 Prevention Tips to Protect Against December Pests
The following suggestions may help prevent entry Insects of December at your residence.
- To avoid bed bug infestations, select an area of your home to inspect all delivered packages. Avoid buying used clothes, bedding or furniture.
- To keep German cockroaches out of your home in December temperatures, keep counters and floors free of debris, vacuum frequently, take out trash regularly, and don’t neglect to check under kitchen appliances and bathroom sinks.
- Keep all areas clean and boxes off the floor as mice like to hide in clutter.
- To prevent the entry of Norway rats, homeowners must eliminate moisture sources in crawl spaces and basements. They must keep in mind that other areas of the home may be susceptible to infestation and should be inspected regularly for signs as well, often watching for greasy marks left by rodents’ greasy fur.
- Keeping pantry pests out of the home begins at the grocery store where produce is purchased. Never buy torn or torn food packages or items that have expired. Cycle pantry foods so you eat older items first. Store all pantry products in sturdy plastic containers and keep the pantry clean and dry at all times.
- Prevent spiders from entering your Pittsburgh home by trimming trees and shrubs from habitat and cutting off overhanging limbs and branches.
- Do not leave clothes and shoes stored in the basement or garage on the floor and shake them before wearing. Spiders like to hide in plastic containers, especially those that store clothing, gloves and shoes.
- To repel skunks, keep all pet food indoors and close all entry points to areas below the structure.
- To prevent pantry pest infestations, inspect grain-based foods immediately after purchase and periodically thereafter during storage. Although impractical, it is a good idea to buy only the quantity of grain products required for a two-month period. If longer storage is required, it is best to store whole rather than ground or processed grains. Grind only the amount needed for a week or so.
Call Pestco for December pest control!
If you live in or around the Greater Pittsburgh area, call our team at Pestco Professional Services if you have any questions. Insects of December Any kind this holiday season.
We are always here to help!
Photo credit: Pixabay