Our Top 5 Fall and Winter Pests
Winter is coming and insects and rodents want to avoid the cold just like humans do. While some will burrow underground, and some will migrate to warmer locales, others will simply seek out the closest, warmest place they can find. Unfortunately, that may mean inside your house. You may not even notice these fall and winter pests at first. That’s because they prefer quiet areas away from people, like in your attic, or inside your walls.
So, which fall and winter pests should you be on the lookout for here in New Mexico? These 5, for starters:
1. Asian lady beetles
Asian lady beetles resemble ladybugs, but they’re a little bigger. Their coloration ranges from red to orange, and not all of them have spots. The problem with these ladybug lookalikes is that they use pheromones to communicate their location. So if one Asian lady beetle comes into your house, within a few days you can have an infestation on your hands. While they won’t eat the wood in your home and can’t bite or sting you, their waste can trigger allergies and cause difficulty breathing in sensitive individuals.
If you hear scurrying on the roof, it could be a squirrel, or it could be roof rats. They get on your roof via nearby branches, fences, and even by climbing gutter downspouts! From there, it’s easy to get into your attic and make a warm nest. Mice are adept at squeezing through small cracks in the exterior of your home at ground level but they’re able climbers too. If you hear scratching or gnawing noises, you may have rodents inside your attic or walls. And that’s a problem that can quickly multiply if you don’t get help from an experienced rodent exterminator.
3. Stink bugs
While there are several species of stink bug, the brown marmorated stink bug is the one you’re most likely to find in your home. An invasive species that is rapidly spreading across the U.S., they’re shield-shaped, with mottled brown and grey coloring, and range in size from 1/4″ to 3/8″. Stink bugs lurk in quiet parts of a home where they won’t be bothered. As their name suggests, when they feel threatened or get squashed, they emit an awful odor. Oddly, stink bugs are attracted more to lighter-colored homes, which is why you may see them, while your neighbor doesn’t.
Termites are up for eating wood any time of year, so what’s different in fall and winter? Subterranean termites, the most destructive species, burrow underground in the winter and expand their nests. When spring comes around, they emerge and can cause immense structural damage. They ravenously consume not just the wood in your home, but any material that contains cellulose. The signs of termites can include blisters on painted walls, hollow-sounding, weak, and flaky wood, mud tunnels in your crawl space, damage to drywall (which contains cellulose), and those telltale pinholes in wood. If you suspect you might have termites, hire a termite exterminator right away. Termites cause an estimated $30 billion in property damage every year, making them by far the most destructive pest in America.
Wasp colonies don’t survive the winter. But fertilized queens do. They usually spend the winter in hollow logs, stumps or under leaves, but they can also be found in attics. Typically, they get in through unscreened attic vents, so it’s best to ensure that your attic is as sealed as possible. If a wasp queen does winter on your property, she may decide to start her new colony on your porch, under your eaves, or worse, inside.
Fall and Winter Pest Control
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that pest control is just for spring and summer. Preventative pest control during the fall and winter is a smart strategy to help prevent pest problems next summer. New Mexico Pest Control has been helping central and northern New Mexico be pest-free year-round since 1945.
Call us today for a free quote!